Published: July 4, 2024

Netherlands appoints Teun Struycken as Gambling Minister

The Netherlands’ new conservative coalition government has confirmed the appointment of Teun Struycken as the new Minister responsible for overseeing gambling reforms.

A minister of the New Social Contract (NSC) party, Struycken takes on the role of Legal Protections Minister, with the primary task of finalising the Dutch government’s ongoing review of the Remote Gambling Act (KOA Act).

Struycken replaces Franc Weerwind, who served as Legal Protections Minister since 2022, under the former coalition government of Mark Rutte.

Since November’s General Election, a quartet of conservative parties formed of the Party for Freedom, the People’s Party, New Social Contract, and the Farmers Movement have been negotiating on terms to form a new government.

Overcoming deadlocks, in June the quartet agreed to form a government led by Dick Schoof as Prime Minister with “no party affiliation”.

The Coalition confirmed that the position of Minister of Legal Protections will be diminished to a State Secretary role once the review of the KOA is complete.

The NSC party are recognised as hard-line opponents of gambling, who in the manifesto called for a ban: “Thanks to (far too) generous government policies, online gambling has exploded. This has also contributed to the growth of problematic debts and crime. To protect people from gambling addiction, gambling on the internet is prohibited.”

“This ban must be strictly enforced. The rules for gambling in casinos, lotteries and sports betting are strictly enforced and advertising is restricted.”

Following Franc Weerwind’s stage-1 review of the KOA market, Dutch gambling heads into a further transformative period as from 1 October, Dutch licences must apply mandatory checks on monthly deposit limits: €350 for players aged 25+ and €150 for players under 25.

The KSA market will adopt a maximum deposit limit of €700, and €300 for under 25 accounts, that can only be activated by customer care teams following a one-to-one contact with the customer.

Ending his duties, Minister Weerwind viewed mandatory deposit limits as a ‘safe and balanced measure’ that will be unobtrusive to the KOA market maintaining its effective channelisation rates.

Ongoing proposals in the Dutch Parliament for further gambling reforms include motions to impose an outright ban on gambling advertising across all mediums and aim to ban high-risk gambling games.

The coalition government has yet to confirm its fiscal budget plan, which proposes an increase in gambling taxes from 30.5% to 37.8%, projected to generate €200 million in yearly tax revenues from Dutch gambling licences.

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