In the Netherlands, the Dutch Lower House passed a bill that allows privatising of the state-owned gambling operator Holland Casino. This can be done before having some of its licences sold off. The bill, however, must still pass the Senate before it can come to an effect, although this is not expected to happen before the end of March.
Holland Casino at the moment is the only land-based casino operator that is legally permitted to offer live table games, such as roulette, baccarat and blackjack. Its sale might net the state as much as 1bn euro.
The legislation proposes that 14 individual branches of Holland Casino will be split up. 10 of them will still remain part of the casino and 4 will be sold. An additional two land-based casino licenses will be newly created. The consequences resulting from the new measures will be evaluated after five years.
The bill states that the buyer of Holland Casino and its ten casinos would not be allowed to acquire any of the remaining six licenses. Further, future operators will be required to guarantee the jobs of all employees at their purchased venues. They will also be prohibited from offering bonuses or loyalty programs.
Willem Van Oort, the founder of Gaming In Holland, said that without any doubts the progress has been made:
“By and large, the adoption of this bill is a significant victory for the liberalisation of gambling in The Netherlands”.
“However, the bill must still pass the Senate, which will almost certainly not happen before the lower house elections of March. It is thus not entirely unthinkable, depending on the next government, that further consideration of the bill will [be] delayed or even indefinitely postponed” stated Van Oort.