The Dutch government will require online gambling licensees to maintain some form of physical presence in the Netherlands.
Netherlands.- One of the primary concerns for local governments when addressing online gambling is that foreign operators might overshadow local companies. That’s why the Netherlands recently formed coalition government has informed that companies will have to maintain “some form” of physical presence in the country in order to receive an online gambling license.
The requirement was issued in a brief section of a new policy program that was presented after four political parties (the VVD, D66, CDA and the Christian Union) came to terms on a coalition agreement.
However, the statement regarding the online sector is quite ambiguous, as it could mean that operators should have land-based operations in the country or even that they would just have to open a local branch office in the Netherlands. The first option is unlikely to be the case, as the European Commission has previously opposed to legislation making that type of requirements, and even warned Poland about possible retaliation if it didn’t lift those demands when they set them.
Nonetheless, the issuing of licenses is still far away and operators believe it could be pushed back as far as 2019, since the Senate still has to discuss the Remote Gambling Bill approved by the lower house last year.