Dutch regulator currently processing 30 iGaming licence applications
The applications were received before the period of leniency known as the cooling-off period, introduced alongside the country’s Remote Gambling Act, came to an end on 1 April.
The cooling-off period applied to companies including Kindred Group, Betsson and Entain, who are expecting to receive a licence to operate in the Netherlands in the coming quarters.
There are currently 18 regulated online gambling operators in the Netherlands.
The regulator revealed that around one in three applicants succeeds in meeting the criteria to receive a gaming licence, suggesting the industry can expect a further 10 companies to join the Dutch market in the near future.
The figures were revealed as KSA chairman René Jansen provided an update on the state of the Dutch market at an annual gaming industry event in Amsterdam.During the update, Jansen also revealed that the websites of 158 unlicensed gaming operators had been investigated in recent months, with 148 of those now blocked from offering services in the Netherlands.
KSA chairman René Jansen: “With legal providers, the player is assured of a fair game and attention to preventing gambling addiction.”
Follow-up investigations and possible sanctions are required at a further 16 websites, he said, although several larger unlicensed operators have discontinued their products in the country due to a new enforcement policy and the implementation of significantly higher fines, which were announced last October.
“This was exactly the intention of the new law: the legal offer had to push the illegal offer away,” Jansen said. “With legal providers, the player is assured of a fair game and attention to preventing gambling addiction.”
Jansen also commented on the quantity of gambling advertising seen in the Netherlands in recent months, saying he was “disappointed in the fact that the gaming sector has not been able to muster the control that has been requested”.
This could lead to the introduction of marketing restrictions in future, after Dutch Minister for Legal Protection Franc Weerwind called for a ban on untargeted advertising for online gambling in a blow for the country’s regulated operators.
In a letter to the Dutch House of Representatives, Weerwind noted the importance of creating high levels of channelisation in the country by showcasing the regulated market, but said the protection of vulnerable groups must also be guaranteed within a legal environment.