The Dutch government is ready to move forward with the privatization of the state-run casino operator Holland Casino, local media reported. Dutch State Secretary of Finance Menno Snel said on Wednesday during a Lower House consultation that the planned privatization could be completed by mid-2020.
It was last year when the Lower House of the former Dutch government approved the proposed privatization of Holland Casino. The casino operator is the only one allowed to provide Las Vegas-style casino games across land-based properties. In other words, it is the sole provider of popular table games, including roulette, blackjack, and baccarat. Holland Casino currently operates 14 casinos across the Netherlands.
Mr. Snel reiterated on Wednesday the previous government’s stance that casino operations are no longer priority for the Dutch Cabinet. However, both the government and competent gambling regulators will still monitor the nation’s land-based casino industry and will penalize any operations that run afoul of laws.
The State Secretary of Finance further revealed on Monday that preparations for the future privatization have already commenced and it is now up to the Senate to approve the move.
Expected Benefits from Holland Casino’s Privatization
As mentioned above, Holland Casino currently owns 14 properties across the Netherlands. Under a bill that the Dutch Lower House voted in favor of last February, the properties will be split up in a certain manner and will be sold to interested businesses separately.
To be more precise, ten of the existing casinos will remain part of Holland Casino and will be sold as one business. It is yet to be determined which exact ten properties will remain operational under the Holland Casino brand. The other four casinos will be sold separately. What is more, under the piece of legislation, two new casino licenses will be issued for land-based casinos in unspecified locations.
It is believed that over €1 billion will be contributed to the Dutch coffers, once Holland Casino’s privatization is completed.
Under the provisions of the bill, future owners of the casinos could be obligated to retain their current workforce.
Other important provisions in the bill include a requirement that the private company that will acquire the ten Holland Casinos is banned from obtaining any of the two new licenses to be issued, or to buy any of the four other casinos.
The bill and the results from its implementation will be evaluated by the Dutch government five years after the legislative piece comes into effect.
As mentioned above, the Dutch Senate is yet to vote on the casino privatization bill, in order for it to become effective. It is still unclear when the necessary vote will be held, but it might not be that far away from taking place, given the fact that the government is clearly looking to complete the privatization over the next two years.
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