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Court says gambling tax against slot operators’ human rights, Daniel Macadam, GamblingCompliance

The Amsterdam court’s judgment, handed down last Thursday, could also have a knock-on effect in other European countries, according to local lawyers.

 

The 2008 Dutch Betting and Gaming Tax Act was invalid because it breached slot operators’ human rights under the European Convention. Article one of the Convention’s first protocol states: “Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions.” The exception is when it is in the public interest.

 

At stake in the slot machine case is whether there is a “fair balance” between the individual’s rights and the state’s public interest, according to Dutch tax adviser Arnoud Knijnenburg.

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Netherlands moves towards Danish regulatory model, Gaming Intelligence

Plans to introduce a licensing regime for online gaming operators in the Netherlands are slowly taking shape, with the Danish system appearing the more likely model to follow after the Justice Ministry concedes that the Belgian model could prove vulnerable under EU law.

 

In September 2011, Boston Consulting Group issued a report at the request of Teeven, outlining two possible scenarios for a regulated market. The first follows the Belgian model of issuing a limited number of licenses to land-based gaming operators who would also offer games online, while the second follows the more open model employed in Denmark and the German state of Schleswig-Holstein.

 

“In the first place, a restriction on the number of operators is unnecessary from the point of view of consumer protection and prevention of gambling addiction,” states Teeven. “By imposing strict requirements, at least the same level of protection can be attained. The location of servers in our country is also not necessary in order to facilitate strict monitoring.”

 

Operators no longer offering their sites in Dutch include bwin.party, Betfair, Bet365 and Ladbrokes, while many more continue to offer gaming in Dutch.

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