Van der Valk hotel group to move into amusement arcades
The Van der Valk hotel group is planning to build and operate two large amusement arcades with fruit machines and automated roulette tables, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Monday.
The first will be in Tiel, while the second in Nuland, some 8 km east of Den Bosch, is set to open in mid-2014. The Van der Valk group is investing €10m in the arcades, which will be some 1,000 square metres in size.
The FD says the move is noteworthy because casinos are declining in popularity following the rise of internet gambling.
‘We are much better at relating to our clients than existing casinos,’ said Frank Kastelijns, who is charge of the Van der Valk gambling operations. ‘A visit to our casino will not be intimidating.’
At the moment, fruit machine operators have to be licenced but fall under different rules to traditional casinos. The state-owned Holland Casino group is the only company licenced to operate casinos with gaming tables, but is on the government’s privatisation list.
Meanwhile, research by Nos television shows that international internet gambling companies are waiting to enter the Dutch market, when it is opened up, but want to do it on their own terms.
Junior justice minister Fred Teeven is expected to publish draft legislation opening internet gambling to competition at the end of this month. Dozens of sites, such as Partypoker.com, target Dutch gamblers from countries such as Malta, which is illegal in Dutch law.
However, while foreign firms are prepared to meet Dutch demands that they take steps to prevent gambling addition, they also say the current 29% tax on gambling winnings in the Netherlands is unacceptable, Nos reports.
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