SBC News Dutch Coalition agreement proposes gambling tax hike to 37%
Geert Wilders

Dutch Coalition agreement proposes gambling tax hike to 37%

The quartet of Dutch political parties arranging terms to form a coalition government has agreed to increase business taxes applied to the Netherlands’ gambling sector.

Yesterday, the Party for Freedom (PVV) announced that it had agreed on a ‘basis of terms’ to form a coalition government with conservative counterparts of the Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), the New Social Contract party (NSC) and the Farmer-Citizen Movement (BBB). 

Led by populist Geert Wilders, since November the PPV has been in negotiations with Party leaders to form a new government, taking on the majority of seats at the Kamer and concluding the affairs of an unsettled Dutch general election.

Following six months of negotiations, yesterday the PPV declared that it had overcome a major deadlock, presenting a ”budgetary appendix of coalition agreements” to Speaker of the House, Martin Bosma.

Carrying the title of “Hope, Courage and Pride”, the budget laid-out the quartet government’s fiscal plans related to taxation, expenditures, public investment and subsidies.

Headline policies saw the Coalition agree to introduce a tax relief on €2,000 of working family income from 2025-to-2028 and increase child benefits and housing allowance for Dutch families.

The Netherlands will commit to NATO’s 2% GDP spend on security and defence. The Coalition will reject EU environmental protections, allowing agricultural businesses to “reintroduce red diesel, with related costs”.

Yet, marked down as a ‘structural taxation increase’ the budget detailed “an increase in gambling tax from 30.5% to 37.8%​​”. As noted in the appendix: “The gambling tax will be increased by €202m on a structural basis. This means a rate increase from 30.5% to 37.8%.”

According to Dutch gambling news source, Casinonieuws.nl, a tax increase was on the “wish list of parties”. In October prior to the General Election, VVD ministers submitted motions to increase Dutch gambling taxes by 1% from from 29.5% to 30.5%, corresponding to total rise of circa €26m.

Reaching a compromise to form a government,  Geert Wilders will not serve as Dutch Prime Minister.  

“The good news is that we have a negotiators’ agreement, but of course, this is only definitive when the parliamentary parties have also agreed,” Wilders stated

Dealmakers refused to say who was in the running to be the next Dutch prime minister as Wilders said: “We have spoken about the prime minister today and we will come back to that discussion at a later moment.”

KOA shake-up… no matter what 

The Dutch gambling market is also set to undergo a change through the Remote Gambling Act (KOA) that will see additional responsible gambling policies being rolled out in a two-step process – taking place in June and October. 

Some of the amendments include new licensing duties on customer care, safer gambling interventions and record keeping of problematic behaviors. 

The KOA restructuring mandate is being carried out by Legal Protections Minister Franc Weerwind, whose proposals include mandatory financial risk checks to be carried out by all KOA-licensed operators on all player accounts with more than €350 monthly spend – in addition to a compulsory €150 loss limit for players under the age of 24. 

Weerwind’s proposal on partial player limits and financial risk checks has been criticised by the leader of the ChristenUnie (CD) party Mirjam Bikker, who instead wants to see a ‘universal loss limit being imposed on all 27 current KOA license holders. 

Most recently, Weerwind’s mandate was also questioned by the Dutch Advisory Board on Regulatory Burden which said that the Legal Minister has not put enough consideration into the technical implications of the scheme, and that additional feedback is needed by the industry to avoid placing further ‘regulatory burdens’ on businesses.

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