19.12.2023

by Mateusz Mazur

Government is Exploring Strategic Options for Nederlandse Loterij

The future of Nederlandse Loterij, the parent company of notable entities such as Staatsloterij, Lotto, and Toto, has been a subject of much discussion following the completion of an extensive exploration.

The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Justice and Security in the Netherlands have announced the conclusion of this exploration on Friday.

Out of four considered scenarios, three have been deemed feasible. These include complete privatization while retaining the monopoly license, privatizing only online gambling operations, or maintaining the current state ownership of the gambling enterprise.

Privatization Options and Challenges

Among the viable paths, complete privatization requires adjustments to existing laws and regulations but could potentially benefit shareholders and the company itself.

In contrast, privatizing only online gambling operations, although simpler to implement, might lead to a division within Nederlandse Loterij, potentially impacting its operational efficiency.

The fourth option, complete privatization without a monopoly, creating an open system, was deemed unfeasible.

According to the ministries, this approach would introduce significant market reorganization and result in considerable financial and non-financial uncertainties for public interests, Nederlandse Loterij, the state, and the co-shareholder represented in the Stichting Kansspelbelangen NOC*NSF/ALN (STAK).

Benefits of Retaining State Ownership

Maintaining the status quo means that the state continues to exert influence and uphold societal interests, such as consumer protection, prevention of gambling addiction, and combating crime and fraud.

However, state involvement could also hinder innovation and international growth, as noted in the ministries’ publication on the exploration.

The three feasible options will undergo further elaboration. The decision on the future course for Nederlandse Loterij rests with the new Tweede Kamer (House of Representatives) and the forthcoming cabinet.

Our Comment on the Article

The exploration into the future of Nederlandse Loterij presents a critical juncture for the Dutch gambling industry. It underscores the delicate balance between public welfare and market dynamics.

The decision made by the new government will not only shape the trajectory of Nederlandse Loterij but also set a precedent for the gambling sector in the Netherlands. This decision-making process illustrates the complexities involved in navigating the evolving landscape of the gambling and iGaming industry.

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