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Planned merger between two Dutch games of chance requires further investigation

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has decided that the planned merger between Stichting Exploitatie Nederlandse Staatsloterij (SENS) and Stichting Nationale Sporttotalisator (SNS) requires further investigation. SENS sells lottery tickets for the National Lottery (in Dutch: Staatsloterij) and the Millions Game (Miljoenenspel), whereas SNS offers the Lotto Game (Lottospel), Eurojackpot, and Scratch Tickets (Krasloten) next to sports betting. A merged SENS/SNS would have a share of approximately 50 percent of the market for lotteries and lottos. The market for games of chance is currently undergoing a lot of changes with, for example, the possible legalization of online gambling.

Potentially less competition in market for lotteries and lottos

The merger would lead to fewer providers on the market for lotteries and lottos: from three to two major players. After the preliminary investigation, ACM has concluded that the combination SENS/SNS would basically have one competitor: Goede Doelen Loterijen (GDL).  GDL offers the Postal Code Lottery (Postcodeloterij), the Bank-Giro Lottery (BankGiroLoterij), and the Friends Lottery (Vriendenloterij), and it controls the other half of the market for lotteries and lottos.

Will there be enough competition left?

If SENS and SNS wish to continue with their merger plans, they will have to apply for a merger license with ACM first. If they do so, ACM will continue with the investigation into the level of competition in the market for lotteries and lottos. The most important question is whether, with two major competitors, there will be enough competition in the market after the merger, and whether consumers will continue to have enough choice in lotteries and lottos with a good price/quality ratio.