Great Bababa99 news for residents of the Land of Tulips and Windmills – the Dutch local regulatory authority, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has just approved the operation of online casinos in the country, as long as they comply with the legislation in force.
Starting from October 1, 2021, the Netherlands officially regulates the online gambling market. This is the most anticipated iGaming event in Europe in 2021. Moreover, industry experts applaud this decision, predicting that the Netherlands has the potential to become one of the largest online casino markets in Europe in the years to come.
This event comes several months behind schedule – initially, legalization was scheduled for March 1, 2021, but preparations were delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Until recently, online casinos were banned in the Netherlands, but thanks to the new bill aimed at online casino operators, the “Remote Gambling Act”, the online market could finally open up.
What will the legalization of online casinos mean for the international market?
This legalization will have a positive impact not only for Dutch players, but also for dozens of international gaming operators who will have access to one of the most lucrative casino markets.
Legal online casinos in the Netherlands
The regulatory authority, KSA, has announced that it has already granted 10 operating licenses to some of the most prestigious international casino operators – Bet365, Tombola – the renowned UK bingo operator, and Play North LTD., an accredited company in the markets from Malta and Estonia. To these names is added the Holland Casino brand, which until now only operated street casinos in the Netherlands, and the state lottery Nederlandse Loterij, which owns the online betting brand TOTO.
Rene Jansen, president of the KSA stated that he expects the list of operators entering the market in the Netherlands to grow in the coming weeks and that he has already received new applications awaiting approval. However, this is a laborious process and the requirements are very strict, which is why many operators need to take certain steps to increase their chances of approval.
Many offshore operators, including Entain, Betsson, LeoVegas and the Kindred Group which operates the Unibet brand and Vlad Cazino , have announced that they will no longer accept bets from Dutch residents before the market opens, hoping they can be approved for a iGaming remote license.
The legal framework in the Netherlands has clear specifications for operators and the regulations are very strict. If offshore operators offer unlicensed iGaming services to customers in the Netherlands, the KSA can fine them hefty sums.
According to the KSA, the purpose of these strict rules is to protect Dutch bettors from the risk of casino addiction, money laundering, bonuses with abusive terms and conditions, but also from unlicensed operators who may accept on their platforms customers under the legal betting age of 18 years. Furthermore, newly licensed operators must pay an operating fee and their offers must not overtly promote excessive gambling, but encourage responsible gambling.
Recently, the KSA fined operator Tipico for offering gambling services in the Netherlands without a license to the tune of €531,250, even though it did not specifically target Dutch customers.
It is estimated that 1.5 million people actively gamble at online casinos in the Netherlands and the market value is 800 million Euros – this amount includes earnings from games such as poker, roulette, blackjack, slots and sports betting.