Let the iGaming Era in the Netherlands Begin—ProperlyPublished October 28, 2021 by Lee R
The KSA is clearly taking a measured approach to prevent gambling harm than rushing into licensing as Netherlands iGaming era begins.
The Netherlands market is launched and underway.
Stops and Starts
The era of regulated gambling overseen by Netherlands KOA sees a licensed online marketplace for operators for the first time in history, after years of equal steps forward and back.
The Remote Gambling Act
Online gambling regulation is unified legislatively under the KOA’s “Remote Gambling Act,” a nearly ten-year journey for Dutch Kamer legislature distinguished by some legendary delays.
The Controversy of 2016
After gathering significant momentum under Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Netherlands' first regulatory model was forced to halt in 2016 after topical clashes within the ministry regarding final taxing structure and protections of state-owned gambling operators.
KOA Schedule Fails
Three years of deliberation later, the Dutch Senate approved a timetable for the passage of the KOA Gambling Act in 2019, winning support from Dutch Legal Protections Minister Sander Dekker to launch its licensing window on July 1, 2020, followed by full market launch six months later.
Alas, Dekker ultimately demanded further compliance and technical arrangements.
Those delays stretched the preparation process into the COVID-19 morass, which moved the licensing window to 1 April 2021, and the market launch date to 1 October 2021.
After the KSA revealed a list of 10 operators who had formally received licenses last week, a figure considerably lower than its projected figure of 29 approved operators, the low amount of qualifiers for licenses was explained by KSA as something that can only be characterised as a good problem—the majority of applicants had failed to meet what KSA called its “high-bar” standards for securing licenses in time for the launch.
KSA Faithful Early
The KSA did not budge from this stance, focusing on compliance among the ten licensees, with KSA Chairman René Jansen reminding license-holders of the priority of protecting Dutch consumers from harm through “fair and moderated play.”
KSA Leader Speaks
Jansen's full statement indicated that “The consumer must be assured of fair play. And the provider must pay sufficient attention to the prevention of gambling addiction.”
So, as the online gambling era begins in the Netherlands, let's be glad the cup is so half full and the authority will toe the line to protect consumers even at the cost of inflating license numbers and revenues early.