New Dutch government puts Teun Struycken in charge of gambling
New Dutch government puts Teun Struycken in charge of gambling
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There are fears the New Social Contract MP may move ahead with a proposal to ban online slots.

The Netherlands.- The new coalition government of the Netherlands has named Teun Struycken as minister for legal protections. The position puts the New Social Contract (NSC) MP in charge of gambling policy as the new government picks up the review of gambling legislation begun by the previous administration.

The appointment may concern gambling operators as the NSC is known for an anti-gambling stance, having proposed a ban on online gambling in its election manifesto. It said at the time that “generous government policies” had caused online gambling to “explode”, leading to issues with debt, crime and gambling addiction.

Struycken takes over the brief from Franc Weerwind, who occupied the position from 2022. The position will be reduced from a ministerial to a state secretarial role once the current round of gambling reforms is finished.

The new Dutch government is a coalition formed by four conservative-leaning parties: the Party for Freedom, People’s Party, New Social Contract and the Farmers Movement. Dick Schoof is the new prime minister.

The next round of Dutch gambling reforms will come into force on October 1, introducing mandatory checks for players surpassing monthly deposit limits. However, the Dutch Parliament has voted in favour of a ban on online slots and a ban on all gambling advertising. While Weerwind was unlikely to heed that call, Struycken’s political allegiance makes him more likely to take it on. Meanwhile, the coalition government’s proposed budget plan includes a hike in gambling tax.