MPs Pass Motion To Reverse Dutch Gambling Tax Cut

November 3, 2022
Scrapping a planned cut to online gambling tax in the Netherlands may be on the cards after MPs backed a motion to keep the levy at 29 percent.


Scrapping a planned cut to online gambling tax in the Netherlands may be on the cards after MPs backed a motion to keep the levy at 29 percent.

A majority of the House of Representatives this week voted in favour of Rudmer Heerema's motion not to implement the previously agreed reduction in the gambling tax, but to allow it to benefit sports and addiction prevention.

The plan would reverse a previously agreed reduction in gambling tax that, provided revenues were high enough, would see the rate reduced from 29 percent to 25 percent within three years of the implementation of the Remote Gambling Act.

The members’ amendment to cut the tax to 25 percent was agreed in 2016 in an attempt to give legal online casinos a stronger competitive position against the illegal operators.

The motion to stick with 29 percent, which was put forward during a two-minute debate on October 20, is non-binding on the government but similar moves have been accepted by ministers in the past.

Another sign that the motion could be viable came after minister for legal protection Franc Weerwind asked that Heerema change the timeframe of the motion, claiming the suggestion to implement it by next spring’s financial memorandum was not feasible. The motion has now been amended to 2024.

The suggestion from Heerema comes after he previously raised concerns about a likely upcoming ban on gambling firms sponsorship of sport, amid concerns that it will hit sporting organisations and be a major issue in terms of the Netherlands hosting international events.

His motion would mean the extra 4 percent of tax revenue, which in the debate he estimated could be worth a total of €300m, would be split 50-50 between sports organisations and the fight against gambling addiction.

Other motions passed included one from MP Mirjam Bikker to improve the prevention of gambling addiction. She wanted more scientifically-substantiated interventions and a broader range of prevention aimed for at-risk groups, with more money invested in the addiction fund. Bikker wants this addiction prevention to take place without interference from or in collaboration with online gambling providers.

Another motion called for aligning marketing expenditure by gambling operators with their payment to the addiction prevention fund. MP Michiel van Nispen said the 0.25 percent of revenue that online casinos pay to the addiction prevention fund was too low.

Another motion was passed calling for sufficient capacity at the Netherlands Gambling Authority (KSA).

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