Hurry Up and Wait: Netherlands Regulation Leader Sets Timeline for ImplementationPublished June 23, 2019 by Lee R
Gaming in Holland provided a vital glimpse into how regulation in the Netherlands will work.
After many years of lobbying and discussion, the long-awaited Netherlands regulation was approved in 2019, setting off a deluge of anticipation among operators and stakeholders.
The word from high in the Netherlands is that the newly legislated Netherlands online gambling market will launch in approximately 18 months time.
On the heels of the February legislative approval of online gaming in the Netherlands, the latest update came Wednesday from Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) gaming regulatory body chairman Rene Jansen at the Gaming in Holland conference. The leader of the Netherlands gaming authority rubber stamped a concrete July 1, 2020 target date for implementation of the country’s new Remote Gambling Act.
Once the Act becomes official, the KSA will begin accepting online license applications, with Jansen estimating the ensuing vetting process would require six months, putting the actual launch of Dutch-licensed online gambling operators at January 1, 2021.
Early Birds Benefits
Nonetheless, likely in anticipation of demand itself, Jansen did invite prospective applicants to start visiting the KSA’s website now and fill out statements of intention to apply before June 21.
The precedent for these early applications was set in Sweden, where the regulator expected some 60 applications for Sweden's long-anticipated liberalised market, only to field double the requests, and leaving regulatory staff scrambling to meet their January 1, 2019 launch date.
Jansen further assured that the KSA was prepared for any unforeseen spikes in application requests:
“Such an operation places quite a high demand on an organisation the size of the KSA,” Jansen said. “If we cannot manage with our permanent staff, we will hire external staff.”
The development of the licensing regime underway in the Netherlands includes the Ministry of Security and Justice currently drafting the technical regulations of the legislation, to be followed by the drafting of licence conditions, all of which was informed by a public consultation on consumer protection controls last March.
Even though legislation may seem far off to the many eager iGaming professionals in the region, the transparency of the process of implementation in the Netherlands should pay off handsomely in the long run, giving operators time to apply and prepare while the legislature develops the finer points in due time.