In The Netherlands, the lower House Of Representatives legislative body has reportedly passed a measure that could see state-owned gambling operator Holland Casino privatized before having some of its licenses sold off.

According to a guest contribution from Gaming In Holland principal Willem Van Oort published by CalvinAyre.com, the recently-passed proposed legislation, which would see Holland Casino lose four of its 14 casino licenses to an as yet unknown operator, will now be subject to a ballot in the Senate although this is not expected to happen before the end of March.

Van Oort reported that Holland Casino is currently the only land-based body that is legally permitted to offer games such as roulette, baccarat and blackjack and its sale could net the state as much as $1.07 billion. As proposed, the legislation approved by the House Of Representatives would moreover see the state license an additional pair of casinos with any consequences resulting from the new measures to be officially evaluated after five years.

The proposed legislation reportedly also mandates that the buyer of Holland Casino and its ten casinos would not be permitted to acquire any of the remaining six licenses while future operators are to be required to guarantee the jobs all employees at their purchased venues.

Finally, the legislation would moreover dictate that the District Court Of The Hague handle all preliminary relief procedures during Holland Casino’s transition period while all future operators are to be prohibited from offering bonuses or loyalty programs.

“By and large, the adoption of this bill is a significant victory for the liberalization of gambling in The Netherlands,” wrote Van Oort. “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.”

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