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More than 10,000 Dutch consumers have blocked themselves from gambling by joining the Cruks self-exclusion scheme since its launch last October.

Cruks prevents registered customers from participating in gambling online, at slot machine arcades and at Holland Casino locations for a minimum period of six months.

Although the register has surpassed the 10,000 mark in relatively short time since its launch just six months ago, the number of self-excluded players represents a tiny 0.06% of the country’s 17.4m strong population. 

Compare this to the more mature UK market, for example, where 250,000 customers have registered to use self-exclusion tool GAMSTOP, representing around 0.37% of the 67.2m population.

Players can register for Cruks in two ways. Most will choose to register themselves for their own protection, although customers can also be added to the register involuntarily.

In order for this to happen, an interested party, such as a partner, family member, or gambling operator, must submit a request to the Netherlands Gambling Authority (Kansspelautoriteit).

Following a process of consideration, the regulator may subsequently decide to add a customer to the register against their will to prevent them from suffering harm by gambling further.

New licensees have been added to the Netherlands’ list of approved online gambling operators in recent months. 

At the launch of the Dutch iGaming market in October 2021, just 10 licences were awarded. Since then, other licensees have been added to the list of approved operators one-by-one.

In the past two weeks, certification has been awarded to Betca BV, which will operate the circus.nl domain, in addition to Novamedia Gaming and 711 BV, although it has not been announced under which domain the latter companies will operate.

Potential licence applicants were reminded earlier this month that the so-called ‘cooling off period’, introduced as part of the Netherlands’ Remote Gambling Act (KOA), is due to end on 1 April this year.

Under cooling off rules, operators will be considered for a licence despite previously offering gaming to Dutch consumers without a licence, provided they had subsequently withdrawn from the market for a period of at least two years and nine months.

Following the end of the period, all licence applications will have their past activity in the Netherlands inspected by the regulator for a period going back as far as eight years.

Any unlicensed activity in the market during that period could prevent an operator from securing a licence.

Kindred Group and Entain are among several high-profile iGaming companies that are waiting for a licence to launch operations having withdrawn their services prior to the launch of the regulated market.

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