Gambling Insider (and other media) report that members of the Dutch Parliament have announced plans to implement a temporary gambling tax rise from July 2018 to January 2019.
Fully licensed and regulated operators in the Netherlands currently pay 29% tax on gross gaming revenue from slots, casino gambling and all forms of remote gambling. Under the Dutch government’s budget plan for 2018, this would be increased by 1.1% to a 30.1% tax rate.
However legislators were keen to point out that the tax rate will be reduced back to 29% six months after the country's new gambling legislation is signed into law. This six month period is to allow the Dutch Gaming Authority, the Kansspelautoriteit, to implement all of the necessary adjustments enshrined in the new law.
The tax hike comes a week after a court in The Hague dismissed gaming operator Betsson’s claim that the authority's recent clampdown on online gaming operators violated EU regulations, ruling that it was inadmissible in a court of law.
In May, the Kansspelautoriteit instituted new rules prohibiting online gaming operators and their affiliates from targeting local players by using typically Dutch symbols, such as tulips and windmills.
Under the clampdown .nl affiliate websites are prohibited from directing Dutch players to .com iGaming websites, with operators who fail to block traffic from the Netherlands being in breach of regulations and subject to financial penalties. Betsson is among several operators who have expressed their unhappiness at the new tighter regulatory framework.
These restrictions have caused many operators and their affiliates to exit the Dutch gaming market entirely, and this new tax increase will do nothing to stem the tide.