The Netherlands' online gambling casinos and market are the youngest in the European Union countries. The online gambling regulations governing the online market are yet to come into being in September of 2021. However, this does not mean that the market has been inactive or players cannot access online gambling platforms. It only means that Dutch players can now play in a legal, safe, secure, and responsible way.
The decision to legalize the industry was long in the making after forming the Kansspelautoriteit KSA in 2012, designing and coming with an implementation act for Dutch online gambling operations. Since the industry was under rules made in 1964, the online sector falls out of scope with the said rules. The advancement required better regulations that fall into place with the current trends and internet practices. However, the implementation of the CRUKS laws designed by KSA has been on hold with delays. We now await its execution on September 1, 2021.
However, it is still not a sure bet, as Minister Sander Dekker says that slow implementation is the only way to ensure stronger gambling market regulations. After adding another month to the September 1, 2021 execution to October, the minister said that a third delay in the rules execution and the Acts enactment.
What’s unique in the gambling act?
The new Remote Gambling Act in the Netherlands allows online private operators to provide services to the Dutch people. In the past, the Dutch gambling industry was a monopoly where Netherlands-based casinos and operators such as gokkastenonline.com would provide any essential gambling services. After enacting the Act, private operators will have a chance to showcase new game selections while ensuring customer protection.
The highlights of the Act are a must register for all providers with the CRUKS. The system provides a database of all online players based on the person's social security number. The rule allows individuals to exercise responsible gambling. If one goes into self-exclusion, the player cannot access any other operator in the country, and operators can't exploit the player through marketing. However, one can still gamble through lotteries as they are except for the newly introduced CRUKS laws.
The stricter regulations are on promotional and marketing methods employed by the operators. The government indicates that advertising cannot utilise young and famous sportspersons, including athletes or young people, to promote their goods in advertising campaigns or sports teams. The ban decision base is that young people view these people and teams as ‘role models.’ A ban on under-21 gaming match local and international is another primary rule and a point of concern with online operators. Also, only recognized organisations can provide betting options such as the FIFA, the Dutch Trotting and Racing Foundation, or the Sports European. Other events require precise analysis and operating licences from the KSA.
The KSA will also have a mandatory participation database recording and registering all online operators' activities. The aim is to monitor the casinos while providing support wherever possible.
The execution of the Remote Gambling Act can have only two outcomes in the Netherlands. The first is expanding the existing operators and gambling entities, and the second is an increase in new entrants wanting to join the gambling market. All major players in the industry are preparing and sending applications for operational licences as we approach September.
Why is there such as scuffle to join the Netherlands gambling market?
The answer is the TOTO Dutch-based betting operators' financial statements released on the performance of the business in the previous years. The operator that has launched several advertising campaigns into the Dutch market already bears the fruits of its efforts. First, the company's revenue doubled in a single year to €127.4 million from €64.6 million in the previous year. During the FIFA World Cup, the company made €14.7 million, around €10.1 million more than earlier. The company recorded a growth rate of 45 per cent when evaluating the new sign-ups into the platform and contributed a 1.8 per cent growth rate in the gambling market put a total of five per cent.
At a closer look into the Dutch gambling market, the whole industry contributed about €1.4 billion back in 2015. However, the number does not include all of the illegal gambling activities currently in play as we await the execution and implementation of the Remote Gambling Act. Therefore, it is difficult to estimate the actual size of the Netherlands gambling market. The potential of the gambling industry in the Netherlands is open and out there for interested parties to evaluate. Only four other countries in the European Union top the Netherlands in the gambling sector revenue generation, including France, Spain, Italy, and Germany. These countries are significant entries into the market, which highlights how lucrative the market is as of now.
The Netherlands is still testing the waters with its Remote Gambling Regulations Act. However, it is the only hope for the Dutch people to get a regulated online gambling market and secure their interests. Also, it is a major opportunity for private operators to venture into the lucrative gambling market with much potential. With the government promising a drop in the online operator's tax rate to 20 per cent, we expect to see more private operators applying for an operating online gambling licence soon.