The Netherlands to explore potential Nederlandse Loterij privatisation

The Dutch government will carry out further evaluation of its options.
The Dutch government will carry out further evaluation of its options.

The Dutch government says it is looking at options for the state-run lottery.

The Netherlands.- The Dutch government has published an evaluation report on the state-run lottery Nederlandse Loterij (NLO). Finance Minister Marnix van Rij said the government is exploring options for the business, including its potential privatisation or part-privatisation.

The report is part of a plan to release evaluations of all state-owned assets every seven years, with reports on different assets being published in different years. This year is the turn of the two state-owned gambling enterprises, Nederlandse Loterij and Holland Casino.  

The report finds that the lottery is “ready for privatisation both financially and organisationally”. The lottery itself said that it would support this option, saying that it saw “no added value in state ownership for safeguarding of public interests”.

In a letter to the state legislature, Van Rij said privatisation would offer growth opportunities and “more space to develop commercial activities and innovate in order to remain successful in the gambling market.”

However, Van Rij has not yet taken a decision and said that “more exploration” was needed. The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Justice and Security will together carry out further evaluation, which will include examining how legislation and regulations would need to be adjusted to make privatisation possible and how the public interest would be safeguarded. The Ministry of Finance has asked for an estimate of the financial impact.

As for Holland Casino, the Ministry’s evaluation was that more market development was necessary before privatisation can be considered. However, he said that the current system was stable.

Van Rij said: “There is no decision yet about the exploration and future of Holland Casino. I chose not to make a decision at this time to start exploring alternative future options.”

He added: “It is worth mentioning that the current market organisation in which two gambling companies operate with the state as shareholder and public interest as the focus is complex in design, but it functions.”

NOGA reports on Dutch igaming growth

The Netherlands Online Gambling Association (NOGA) has published new data showing the growth of the Dutch igaming market. The latest edition of its Online Gaming Barometer shows that 14 per cent of the Netherlands’ population gambled in the previous 12 months, a rise from 11 per cent last year.

The survey, which was carried out among 2,803 people by the market researcher IPSOS, found that the number of young adult players had grown from 21 per cent to 30 per cent.

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