AFM issues first Dutch binary options license

Today, the Dutch financial watchdog Autoriteit Financiële Markten (“AFM”) issued the first Dutch binary options license, in line with the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (“MiFID”). The license was issued to Optieclub (translates: Optionclub). AFM issued the license under protest.

On January 16, 2015, AFM already was summoned by the Rotterdam Administrative Court to issues a license to Optieclub. When the request was refused, the lawyers of Optieclub: Bas Jongmans (Gaming Legal Group) and Hester Bais (BAIS Legal) successfully requested a preliminary injunction. To prevent yet another, second request for a preliminary injuction, imposing penalties on AFM, the financial watchdog “caved in” and awarded Optieclub with her license. AFM was served to appear in civil court on April 7, 2015.

In light of earlier developments, it was doubtful if AFM would actually issue a license. In AFM’s statement today the regulator stated that the offering of binary options is illegal since binary options should be regarded (next to financial instruments) as illegal games of chance. AFM has however not been successful in convincing the courts.

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The Rotterdam Administrative Court as well as the CBB Appeals Court ruled that AFM should immediately issue a license to Optieclub. Optieclub could no longer be expected to wait for its license, pending further litigation on the matter. The issuance of the license today marks an important step in the development of regulation of binary options as financial instruments within the Netherlands, since with this issuance, AFM has confirmed that binary options shall be regulated by AFM in the Netherlands and as a result, license holders will be allowed to enter the European market, using a “European Passport”.

Details of the license are currently being studied by Optieclub’s attorneys: Bas Jongmans (Gaming Legal Group) and Hester Bais (BAIS Legal). Details shall be made available at a later time or may be requested.

Details on the awarded preliminary injunction may be found here.

AFM’s statement on the matter may be downloaded here.

Further details will be made available on and


Gaming Legal Attorneys is part of Gaming Legal Group (Netherlands, Malta, Dutch Caribbean) and has its base of operations within the Netherlands. Gaming Legal specializes in all aspects of gambling. BAIS Legal has also has its base of operations within the Netherlands. BAIS Legal specializes in all aspects of financial law. Gaming Legal and BAIS Legal combine forces on a regular basis.

Name of entity: Gaming Legal Group BAIS Legal
Contact: Bas Jongmans, advocaat Hester Bais, advocaat
Dutch office +31 (0) 20 671 17 30 -
Cell: Cell: +31 (0) 6 141 07 793 +31 (0) 6 307 19 217

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