Olders, head of the Netherlands’ largest land-based gaming company as owner of Jack’s Casino and Flash Casinos, is a panellist at an EiG session in October, and hopes that the once-divided German capital can be an inspiration for creativity and an atmosphere of change.
While Olders has concerns about the progress of online gaming laws in his own country, he believes that the sector – which is seeing regulatory change in many jurisdictions around the world – can use the Berlin conference as a place to share ideas and progress together.
“Berlin, as a very creative and open environment, is certainly a very inspirational setting for EiG,” Olders told TotallyGaming.com.
“This city was very much closed for decades, and now the opposite is the case. That seems to be interesting guidance for the gaming industry, which – trapped through regulation and mindset – was pretty static for many decades. So bring on the changes!”
While optimistic about the industry and his own company, Olders is concerned that the Netherlands’ Remote Gambling Act has made no progress in 2015 and that it could be more than two years before licensees are operating. Olders said that weak governments and strong opposition to the development of iGaming have been key problems in the progress of the legislation.
JVH is keen to expand its online offering, as are the more than 200 companies believed to have expressed interest in the five-year licenses that were supposed to be available by the end of the year.
“This process had been like a slow boat to China, whilst the key elements of the discussion keep revolving,” said Olders, who will take part in an EiG discussion entitled ‘Customer profiling and retention – what online can learn from retail/land-based and vice versa’.
“We can truly ask ourselves whether – from a perspective of the content of the draft act – anything material has changed. I would say no. A lot of time has gone into the process, and with a relatively large number of lobbying – partly of countering – forces, progress has been hampered.
“We’re now talking 2017, and that’s if the political landscape remains relatively stable. However, that could change overnight in Holland as coalitions simply have not been so stable the last decade.
“The government will need to push hard and focused to get the draft bill pushed through the Parliament before the end of 2015.”