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Netherlands Set to Increase Gambling Tax to 37.8% Amid Industry Concerns and Slot Ban Controversy

The gambling tax in the Netherlands could see an increase to 37.8% following a coalition agreement between four political parties. According to CasinoNieuws.nl, the budgetary appendix to the agreement indicates that the gambling tax rate would be adjusted from 30.5% to 37.8% if the agreement is implemented.


Netherlands Set to Increase Gambling Tax to 37.8% Amid Industry Concerns and Slot Ban Controversy

This change would contribute an additional €202 million (£173.3 million/$219.6 million) annually to the state treasury in gambling tax contributions. The agreement involves the political parties PVV, VVD, NSC, and BBB.


In November, seven parties announced their goal to raise an additional €200 million to €400 million in state contributions through an increased gambling tax.


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


Industry Reaction

Following the announcement of the proposed tax increase, the Netherlands Online Gambling Association (NOGA) expressed its dismay. NOGA director Peter-Paul de Goeij believes the proposals will negatively impact channelization towards the Netherlands’ legal operators. De Goeij also argues that the additional state contributions will come at the expense 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.”


The Dutch gambling association Van Kansspelen also expressed “astonishment” at the proposals. Van Kansspelen agrees with NOGA that these plans could drive players towards offshore operators. Van Kansspelen chairman Henry Meijdam remarked, “It is completely socially irresponsible, because this inevitably leads to major problems and costs regarding safety and care.”


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Netherlands Proposes Tax Increase Amid Slot Ban Controversy

The decision to raise the gambling tax in the Netherlands coincides with the country’s house of representatives voting to ban online gambling advertising and “high-risk” gambling, including online slots. The house has voted to prohibit all targeted advertising. Previously, the Netherlands banned untargeted advertising, with a new ban taking effect in July 2023, which included mass advertising through television, radio, and sports sponsorships.


Furthermore, the house voted for a ban on online slots due to concerns over the lack of player control over the outcomes. Socialist party MP Michiel van Nispen proposed the motions.


Although these bans passed a house vote, it will be up to the Netherlands’ minister for legal protection, Franc Weerwind, to review the law and decide on the approval of these changes.

These motions have encountered strong opposition from the industry. NOGA claims that the bans would drive players towards the black market. NOGA described the proposed changes as “thoughtless and irresponsible.” De Goeij expressed concern 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.”

By fLEXI tEAM


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