he emphasis of said policy will not be on restricting possibilities on the gaming market, but it will create new possibilities for both providers and consumers. By setting strict rules, Teeven intends to minimise the risk inherent in games of chance, such as addiction, fraud and crime, but he also wants to move with the times by providing players with a varied and legal offer of games of chance.
Currently, the Betting and Gaming Act (WoK) prohibits offering games of chance if no licence has been granted for this purpose and the law does not yet offer possibilities for playing games of chance on the Internet. Offering games of chance on the Internet is therefore not legal in the Netherlands, while each year hundreds of thousands of Dutch citizens participate in online games of chance, such as poker on websites offering games of chance.
Including a licensing system for online games of chance in the WoK will ensure that consumers are able to play online games of chance legally and more control can be exercised over the providers of such games.
In addition to online poker, Teeven also wants to create possibilities to regulate the small-scale offer of poker at physical locations at the municipal level, similarly to the manner in which so-called small games of chance are regulated in the WoK.
He also wishes to clarify the Code of Conduct for Promotional Games of Chance by making more detailed agreements concerning the exploitation costs of promotional games of chance (such as voting by text message during talent shows).
In cooperation with the Ministry of Finance, a part of the proceeds of lotteries and online games of chances will be spent on sports, as agreed in the coalition agreement. In consultation with the State Lottery and the Ministry of Finance, the consequences that a possible reduction of the prize money may have on the turnover of the State Lottery and the payments to the State are being investigated.
The first option is to reduce at the State Lottery the percentage of the money put in that is paid out in prizes in favour of sports. A second possibility would be to allow a limited number of extra draws at other lotteries, including lotto. Part of the money that becomes available for sports via games of chance will be used to make sports safer. This will be elaborated in greater detail in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.
Teeven wants to promote that licences for national games of chance are granted in future in a consistent, transparent and non-discriminatory manner. As regards lotteries, a legal basis for the above will be created soon in the WoK. The Gaming Authority to be formed will supervise the transparent granting of licences and compliance with gaming legislation.
In order to achieve the modernisation of gaming policy, an accelerated legislative process will be introduced, whereby a licensing system for a broad offer of games of chance via the Internet is introduced. In addition, a legal basis for the transparent granting of licences for lotteries that support charities will be created and an open licensing system for not-for-profit lotteries. Teeven hopes to present this bill to the Lower House later this year.
In order to give current and future lottery licence holders sufficient time to prepare for the new situation, Teeven has decided to stop issuing licences within the current system on 31 December 2014. Any new system will therefore not become effective sooner than 1 January 2015.