Dutch Coalition Proposes 37.8% Gambling Tax Amid New Regulations

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May 19th, 2024
Back Dutch Coalition Proposes 37.8% Gambling Tax Amid New Regulations

The Dutch political landscape is set for significant changes as a coalition of four parties has agreed to increase business taxes applied to the Netherlands’ gambling sector. The Party for Freedom (PVV) announced that it had reached a 'basis of terms' to form a coalition government with the Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), the New Social Contract party (NSC), and the Farmer-Citizen Movement (BBB).

Formation of the Coalition Government

Led by populist Geert Wilders, the PVV has been negotiating with party leaders since November to form a new government, securing the majority of seats at the Kamer. The negotiations concluded the affairs of an unsettled Dutch general election. After six months of deliberations, the PVV declared that it had overcome a major deadlock and presented a “budgetary appendix of coalition agreements” to Speaker of the House, Martin Bosma.

Titled “Hope, Courage and Pride,” the budget outlines the quartet government’s fiscal plans related to taxation, expenditures, public investment, and subsidies. Key policies include a tax relief on €2,000 of working family income from 2025 to 2028, and increased child benefits and housing allowance for Dutch families. Additionally, the Netherlands will commit to NATO’s 2% GDP spend on security and defense. The Coalition will reject EU environmental protections, allowing agricultural businesses to “reintroduce red diesel, with related costs.”

Gambling Tax Increase

A significant structural taxation increase involves raising the gambling tax from 30.5% to 37.8%. As detailed in the appendix, “The gambling tax will be increased by €202 million on a structural basis. This means a rate increase from 30.5% to 37.8%.” According to CasinoNieuws.nl, the tax increase was on the “wish list of parties.”

Prior to the General Election in October, VVD ministers had submitted motions to increase Dutch gambling taxes by 1% from 29.5% to 30.5%, corresponding to a total rise of approximately €26 million.

Despite reaching a compromise to form a government, Geert Wilders will not serve as Dutch Prime Minister. Wilders stated, “The good news is that we have a negotiators’ agreement, but of course, this is only definitive when the parliamentary parties have also agreed.” Dealmakers did not disclose who was in the running to be the next Dutch prime minister, with Wilders adding, “We have spoken about the prime minister today and we will come back to that discussion at a later moment.”

The Dutch gambling market is also poised for changes through the Remote Gambling Act (KOA), which will introduce new responsible gambling policies in a two-step process in June and October. These amendments include new licensing duties on customer care, safer gambling interventions, and record-keeping of problematic behaviors.

The KOA. restructuring mandate is being overseen by Legal Protections Minister Franc Weerwind, whose proposals include mandatory financial risk checks for all KOA-licensed operators on player accounts with more than €350 monthly spend. Additionally, there is a compulsory €150 loss limit for players under the age of 24.

However, Weerwind’s proposal has faced criticism. ChristenUnie (CD) party leader Mirjam Bikker has called for a 'universal loss limit' to be imposed on all 27 current KOA license holders. The Dutch Advisory Board on Regulatory Burden has also questioned Weerwind’s mandate, stating that there has not been enough consideration of the technical implications and that additional industry feedback is needed to avoid placing further regulatory burdens on businesses.

As the Dutch government moves forward with these significant changes, the impact on the gambling sector will be closely monitored, with both operators and players adapting to the new landscape.

Source:

Dutch Coalition agreement proposes gambling tax hike to 37%, sbcnews.co.uk, May 16, 2024.

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