While the authorities are preparing the legalization and regulation of online casinos in Netherlands, Dutch gambling monopoly Holland Casino has already picked out a software supplier for its future online products. In the following year, Playtech will develop an online platform for Holland Casino whereby customers will be able to play roulette, blackjack, slot machines, poker and bingo.
Dutch gambling laws will be modified as of next year, in order to open the market to internet gambling. Holland Casino’s interim chief executive officer, Willem-Jan van den Dijssel, is very optimistic about the new platform. “We will soon offer our players a unique gaming environment and experience. Coupled with the expertise of Playtech, we look forward with confidence to the forthcoming regulation of the market”, he said.
The first proposal regarding internet gambling in the Netherlands is expected sometime during the first half of 2014. After a final decision is made, the state will grant 5 year licenses to gambling operators. The first online betting licenses are likely to be awarded by 2015. For the moment, the gambling market is strictly controlled by the Dutch government and all casinos are managed by Holland Casino.
The company owns and manages 14 casinos across the country, but is facing serious financial issues due to a decrease in visitor numbers and competition from online gambling operators. Foreign based online casinos are operating illegally in the Netherlands and the authorities are trying to stop them with fines. As of 2015, winnings from foreign-based online gambling sites will be subject to a 29% tax.
It was not long ago that the Dutch gambling monopoly was forced to cut 350 jobs, including a third of the ones in its head office. A report released earlier this year showed that Holland Casino would be closing the year with a $40.5 million loss. According to the Dutch press, the company has an additional debt of $80.4 million.