A long road to get here
At the recent Gaming in Holland Conference, René Jansen, chairman of the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), gave a timeframe for implementation of the new Remote Gaming Act.
He expects that the act will come into force on July 1, 2020, which would allow operators to apply for licenses and online gambling to start in early 2021.
Holland has taken a long road to get to this point. The first proposals were put forth in 2011 but it wasn’t until in February of this year that the Remote Gaming Act was adopted. The act allows online gambling but under strict conditions. Currently, there are no provisions in Holland for “games of chance” but this will now change as the KSA begins to offer permits.
Previously, Holland had relied on the appeal of its casinos to rule out a need for online gambling, but these plans have now changed.
The idea of privatizing the successful Holland Casino has been withdrawn, despite eight years of preparation, leaving all interested operators out in the cold.
Dishing out fines
The Remote Gaming Act will require a slight change to internal law, as the Ministry of Justice and Security hands over the reins to the KSA.
Although established in 2012, the Netherlands Gambling Authority has begun to stretch its muscles only recently. In March, it upped its minimum illegal online gambling sanctions from €150,000 ($191,000) to €200,000 ($255,000), which coincided with the approval of the Remote Gaming Act.
In April, the online website Casumo, regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority, and UK/Gibraltar-based Casino.com were fined €310,000 ($351,000) for allowing the illegally targeting of Netherlands citizens.
At the conference, Jansen asked interested operators to complete the applications form on the KSA website so that they could gauge interest in licenses.
He said, “For the KSA, it is important to know how many license applications we can expect in the future. This allows us to organize the organization well. We have an interest in this, but that also applies to the companies that request a license.” About 300 operators have shown an interest in operating in the Dutch market.
Jansen appeared keen to offer operators an olive branch at the conference by setting out the timeline, although he stressed the work still needed to be done. He said, “Such an operation requires a lot from an organization with the size of the KSA. But we do everything we can to get this done.”