Netherlands Online Gaming Licenses Issued, Rogue Platforms Warned to Cease Operations

Posted on: September 30, 2021, 01:19h. 

Last updated on: September 29, 2021, 02:35h.

The Netherlands yesterday announced the issuance of 10 permits that allow the recipients to soon conduct online casino gambling with slot machines and table games.

Netherlands online gaming Holland Dutch
The colorful tulips and Dutch windmills of the Netherlands are seen in this stock photo. Beginning October 1, legal online gambling will commence in the European country. (Image: Department of State)

The Netherlands Gaming Authority (KSA) confirmed the granting of 10 iGaming rights on September 29. The internet gaming licenses come more than two and a half years after the country passed its Act on Remote Gambling.

The long delay has largely been because of COVID-19 holding up regulatory meetings. But at long last, 10 interactive gaming firms have been licensed, and their operations can commence as early as tomorrow, October 1.

The 10 companies are TOTO Online, FPO Netherlands, Holland Casino, GGPoker, Play North, Tombola, Bet365, Bingoal Netherlands, Betent, and LiveScore Malta.

KSA officials revealed that they received dozens of iGaming bids, each paying the necessary €48,000 (US$55,600) upfront application fee. The gaming agency added that more iGaming licenses will be awarded in the coming weeks.

Government iGaming

Holland Casino, a Dutch state-owned company, has held a monopoly since the Netherlands legalized casinos nearly 50 years ago. Holland Casino’s monopoly, however, isn’t being transferred online.

Dutch lawmakers instead opted to welcome commercial iGaming operators for its emerging online gaming industry. The Netherlands is one of the last countries in Europe to legalize internet casinos.

The decision to do so is part of an effort to rid the northwestern European country of unlicensed and unregulated iGaming websites. The KSA has told unlicensed internet gaming businesses that they must immediately stop their operations.

In exchange for doing so, iGaming platforms that have allowed Dutch players access in the past will be able to obtain an internet gaming permit from the KSA in the future. But that can only happen after a two-year cooling-off period.

The KSA reports that there’s an estimated 800,000 Netherlanders who gamble online each year through an unlicensed platform. They’re believed to wager approximately €500 million (US$580 million) annually.

Market Protections

The Netherlands government is urging people seeking online casino entertainment to only patronize one of the 10 licensed sites from October 1 on. The KSA says the approved internet casino platforms satisfied a host of regulatory conditions, including implementing safeguards to limit problem gambling, such as periodic time and spending prompts, that warn a user of their activity.

Many people do not even know that it [iGaming] has been illegal,” KSA Chair Rene Jansen told Nieuwsuur, a news outlet in the Netherlands. “There is no supervision at the moment. We cannot really intervene on how they gamble.”

That will change come Friday. “For the first time, we now have instruments with which we can really intervene,” Jansen added.

One of those instruments is a self-exclusion program. Licensed iGaming companies must validate each new customer to make sure they are not on the banned list.

The KSA is also mandating that each internet casino utilize available technology that is capable of detecting erratic gaming behavior, which can signal problem gambling and addiction.