In a move that has sent shockwaves through the Dutch gambling industry, the newly formed coalition government, consisting of the PVV, VVD, NSC, and BBB parties, has proposed a substantial increase in the gambling tax rate. The budgetary annex of the coalition agreement, titled “Hope, Courage and Pride,” outlines a plan to raise the tax from the current 30.5% to 37.8%, aiming to generate an additional €202 million annually for the state treasury.

Coalition Agreement and Tax Increase Details 

The coalition agreement was finalized in the late hours of May 15, with all four parties reaching a consensus just before the deadline. The 26-page document was officially presented to the public on the morning of May 16. While the main text of the agreement does not specifically mention gambling, the budgetary annex clearly states the intention to increase the gambling tax by €202 million on a structural basis, resulting in a rate increase from 30.5% to 37.8%.

Industry Reaction and Concerns 

The proposed tax hike has been met with strong opposition from industry stakeholders. The Netherlands Online Gambling Association (NOGA) has warned that the move could jeopardize the legal market and lead to an increase in illegal gambling, crime, and addiction. NOGA director Peter-Paul de Goeij expressed concerns that the proposed increase would further decline the legal gambling supply, putting Dutch consumers at risk of resorting to illegal providers who do not pay taxes or adhere to the duty of care prescribed by Dutch legislation.

Impact on Land-Based Gaming Operators

The land-based gaming industry association, VAN Kansspelen, has also voiced its apprehensions about the proposed tax increase. VAN chairman Henry Meijdam emphasized that the move is socially irresponsible and could lead to major problems and costs regarding safety and care. The association’s members, particularly smaller operators, are already facing declining revenues due to strict gambling regulations in the Netherlands, and the tax hike could put them at significant risk of closure.

Wider Ramifications

As the Dutch government moves forward with its plans to increase the gambling tax rate, industry stakeholders continue to advocate against the proposal, highlighting the potential negative consequences for both online and land-based operators. The debate surrounding the balance between fiscal goals and the sustainability of the Dutch gaming sector is likely to intensify in the coming months, as the implications of the new tax rate unfold.


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