The Netherlands Delays Regulation a Third Time, but Continues to Develop the Final Model

Published February 7, 2021 by Lee R

The Netherlands Delays Regulation a Third Time, but Continues to Develop the Final Model

The reason for the Netherlands' delay is to optimize its regulation model.

The long-awaited Dutch iGaming launch has been delayed for third time

New Date

Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker has pushed back for one month the Dutch Remote Gambling Act (KOA) coming into effect to 1 April 2021, with the date to re-open the market set for 1 October.

Measuring Steps

The latest delay according to Dekker results from the Government's conclusion that slower implementation of the laws creates a stronger regulation environment:

“Although the implementation is proceeding energetically, it has now become clear to all involved that careful implementation takes a little more time.”

Completing Preparations

Dekker said the delay provides needed time to for De Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) and the gambling sector to complete preparations.

KOA was originally scheduled to enter into law on 1 July 2020, with the market opening six months later on the first day of 2021. In November 2019, the act’s start date was pushed back six months to 1 July 2021.

Covid Impact

Covid disruptions caused the next delay in September 2020, with the new date established as 1 March 2021. This current third delay pushes the law back a full nine months from the original launch date.

Robust Self-Exclusion Scheme

Target date aside, the development and preparation of one key component of the market remains on schedule for October 1: the Netherlands' unique cross-channel self-exclusion scheme.

Addressing MP Concerns

In a Q and A with Dutch MP's, Dekker further informed socialist MP Socialist Party politician Michael van Nipsen of the intent to commission a report into the impact of legalised online gambling on lottery sales across other European countries--to distinguish disparities between regions such as the UK and Norway where lottery sales increased following legal iGaming, while falling in other areas including Denmark and Italy.

Protecting the Lottery

Dekker said the Netherlands would review its online gaming market after three years to determine if lottery sales declined post iGaming regulation, indicating a levy

towards “sport and good causes” could make up any proceeds the lottery loses.

Outlook

Despite the delays on the surface, the overall development of the regulation model should be trusted to not shake the faith of stakeholders accustomed to the Netherlands' traditionally deliberate pace.

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