European Skill Gaming Laws-Part 2
The Netherlands, Poland, and Cyprus all have laws enacted that either regulate or disallow skills gaming and games of chance.
- The primary legislation in force are the following: 1.) Betting and Gaming Act of 1964, 2.) Betting and Gaming Act of 1961, and 3.) Remote Gambling Act of 2019 (which is not currently in force but will be soon).
- The approach taken in the Netherlands is that any betting, gambling, or skilled gaming is prohibited unless otherwise licensed.
- Both the promotion of and the participation in unlicensed games of chance is prohibited by law.
- The law states that a game only qualifies as a game of chance if the majority of general participants are able to exert a predominant influence on the selection of winners.
- Holland Casino is the only land-based commercial establishment licensed for poker.
- Secondary legislation include the Game of Chance Decree, Slot Machine Decree of 2000, Slot Machine Regulation of 2000, Decree on Games of Chance: Recruitment, Advertising, and Addiction, and Regulation on Games of Chance: Recruitment, Advertising, and Addiction.
- Regulation on lotteries falling under "non-incidental games of chance" specifies that 50% of ticket sales must be given to good causes including health, international aid, and six other categories.
- The primary law enacted in Poland and governing games of chance and skill is the Act on Gambling Games of 19 November 2009.
- This law was originally passed through parliament in two days. A major overhaul to the law took effect in 2017. Changes include "a blocking mechanism restricting access to websites of unlicensed online gambling operators, as well as an obligation for payment services providers to cease providing these services to such operators, among other amendments."
- Poland's Penal Code and Fiscal Penal Code detail taxes, fines, and other issues dealing with the violation of the Gambling Law.
- Application of the Gambling Law is for both land-based and online games. Additionally, all online games of chance must abide by the "Act of 18 July 2002 on Providing Services through Electronic Means (E-Commerce Act) (Ustawa o świadczeniu usług drogą elektroniczną), which regulates all services provided online."
- Similar to much of Europe, Poland has many bingo halls that are regulated similarly to the rest of the European Union.
- Games that have no element of chance, and only require skills or knowledge on the part of the player, do not fall under the Gambling Law. However, the Minister of Finance is "authorized to issue on request decisions whether a particular game should be treated as a gambling game regulated by the Gambling Law."
- The day to day supervision and enforcement of these games and laws is handled by the National Revenue Administration (NRA).
- Since the reform of 2017, there have been no significant changes to the Gambling Law. "In the near future, several complaints concerning blacklisting of offshore gambling websites are expected to be considered by the courts, and the first appeal court judgments on this subject are also due."
- The Cyprus Gaming and Casino Supervision Commission prohibits casino gaming, poker, and fantasy betting.
- The Ministry of Finance regulates and prohibits lotteries.
- Skill games and competitions with no element of chance are not regulated in Cyprus.
- There are numerous laws enacted in Cyprus. These are as follows:
- Betting Law of 2019 — This law regulates land-based and online sports betting along with the powers and functioning of the National Betting Authority (NBA).
- The Taxation of Horseracing Bets and Sweepstakes Law of 1973 regulates horse racing in Cyprus.
- The Lottery Act regulates lotteries, bingo, and skilled competition. Only the state is allowed to perform large scale lotteries. Small-scale lotteries/bingo as a secondary event in the context of other non-profitable/charitable/festive events that are private are allowed under specific conditions.
- The Certain Games of Chance Law of 2018 allows the NBA to regulate the licensing of games of chance.
- The Games Machines, Skill Machines, and Entertainment Machines Law of 1996 prohibits any game of chance, betting, gambling, lottery, bingo, etc through machines.
- The NBA is currently in the process of drafting new legislation which will overhaul the Betting Law of 2012. This reform will grant new powers and licenses to the NBA and aims to position Cyprus as a "gaming hub."
- There are also regulations regarding Player Protection which are in the final stages of drafting.