Thursday, June 20, 2024

Netherlands coalition agreement proposes increased gambling tax of 37.8%

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The gambling tax in the Netherlands could be increased to 37.8% after a coalition agreement between four political parties.

As reported by CasinoNieuws.nl, the budgetary appendix to the agreement stated gambling tax in the Netherlands would be altered from 30.5% to 37.8% should the agreement become implemented.

The state treasury would be provided with an additional €202m (£173.3m/$219.6m) per year in gambling tax contributions. The PVV, VVD, NSC and BBB were the parties involved in the agreement.

In November, seven parties announced their intention to generate an additional €200m-€400m in state contributions with an increased gambling tax.

The coalition agreement, entitled “Hope, Courage and Pride”, is set to be presented today (16 May).

Industry reaction

Following the announcement of the proposed tax rise, the Netherlands Online Gambling Association (NOGA) expressed its dismay at the plans.

NOGA director Peter-Paul de Goeij believes the proposals will have a harmful impact on channelisation towards the Netherlands’ legal operators. De Goeij also feels the additional money in state contributions will come at the cost of social damage to players.

“The proposed increase in the tax rate by no less than 7.3% endangers the viability of the legal Dutch gambling market,” De Goeij stated. “The intention of the forming parties will lead to an even further decline in the legal gambling supply.

“This is extremely risky, knowing that illegal parties do not pay taxes and are not bound to the duty of care as prescribed in Dutch legislation and regulations, are already ostentatiously luring for the business of Dutch consumers.”

Dutch gambling association Van Kansspelen also outlined its “astonishment” at the proposals. Van Kansspelen agrees with NOGA that the plans could instead have the harmful impact of driving players towards offshore operators.

Van Kansspelen chairman Henry Meijdam said: “It is completely socially irresponsible, because this inevitably leads to major problems and costs regarding safety and care.”

Netherlands proposes tax increase amid slot ban controversy

The move to raise the gambling tax in the Netherlands comes after the country’s house of representatives voted to ban online gambling advertising, as well as “high-risk” gambling, which includes online slots.

The house voted to ban all targeted advertising. The Netherlands has already prohibited untargeted advertising, with a new ban placed into effect in July 2023. The Netherlands banned mass advertising through communication forms such as television and radio, as well as sport sponsorships.

Additionally, the house voted for a ban on online slots. This is due to fears over the lack of player control over the outcome of such gaming. Socialist party MP Michiel van Nispen put forward the motions.

Although the bans passed a house vote, it will be down to the Netherlands minister for legal protection, Franc Weerwind, to review the law and decide whether to approve the changes.

The motions have faced fierce industry opposition. NOGA claims the bans would instead drive players towards the black market.

NOGA described the proposed changes as “thoughtless and irresponsible”. De Goeij is concerned that the motions are based on inaccurate figures.

“A majority in the house of representatives is taking an expensive gamble with online players who are now consciously opting for the legal offer,” De Goeij said.

“If we soon find that politicians have made the wrong decisions too hastily, the house will be responsible for the negative consequences.”

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