Klaas Dijkhoff : “We are in a transition phase. And transition is never easy for anyone.” (image: www.jackpot.co.uk)
In his speech at the Euromat Gaming Summit, Dutch State Secretary for Security and Justice Klaas Dijkhoff stated that the gaming industry is growing and modernizing by the day. The number of online players is over 1 million and it is growing as we speak. Thus, the government needs to keep up with the changes on the market and update the regulations and laws accordingly in order to protect everyone’s best interests, those of the players, government and the providers. He also mentioned that this is not easy, and that it is natural for some disagreement to arise in the process of establishing these regulations.
The government proposed a tax rate of 20% for online gaming providers to pay on the gross profits which did not appeal to the European Amusement and Gaming Federation EUROMAT. Consequently, they filed a complaint with the European Commission with the argument that the tax rate should be increased to 29%. According to EUROMAT their main concern is “whether a lower tax rate would actually deliver a significant additional incentive over and above that which could be achieved by applying the same tax rate to both online and land-based companies.” They also compared the situation with the Dutch case and pointed out: “As regards the Danish case, the European Commission seems to have accepted the Danish Government’s motive of common interest objectives behind the differentiated tax rate (objectives concerning problem gambling). However, the Dutch Government admits having purely fiscal reasons not to endorse an equal tax rate for the online and land-based games.”
As a response to this Dutch State Secretary for Security and Justice Klaas Dijkhoff gave a speech this Thursday at the Euromat Gaming Summit in Amsterdam. In his address he explained that this is a period of transition and as such it is bound to provoke some controversies. Admitting that the gaming industry is very important as it is on the rise, creating new workplaces and constantly changing, he also mentioned that the changes must be closely monitored in order to be regulated for the sake of all stakeholders. He announced that the new legislation concerning online gaming and different taxes will be discussed more in the future in the government including the dialogue with the representatives of the industry. He also announced some changes in the casino market such as privatizing Holland Casino in order to prevent monopoly. The plan is to cut down the total number of casinos to 16, six out of which will be available for new providers. Dijkhoff announced that if everything goes according to plan the new casino market will be established by 2017.