28 operators now eligible for online gambling permits
The Netherlands’ gambling regulator, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has announced it has received 28 applications for Dutch iGaming licenses. The authority shared news of the 28 license submissions on April 19 via Twitter:
The KSA stated that the 28 applications submitted are eligible for a permit to operate online gambling offerings starting October 1, 2021.
The 28 applications represent a slight dip on the KSA’s March projections that it would provisionally be in a position to issue 35 licenses. The latter figure in turn reflects a more significant 75% drop on the 125 expressions of interest submitted to the KSA in October 2020.
Betsson, Entain, Kindred Group, and 888 are among the players slated to enter the Dutch iGaming market
According to EGR Global, Betsson, Entain, Kindred Group, and 888 are among the players slated to enter the Dutch iGaming market.
KSA “satisfied” with number of applications
Despite the slight downturn in expected applications, an official news release by the Dutch gambling regulator said that KSA chair René Jansen was “satisfied with the number of provisional applications” the body received.
EGR Global reports that factors behind the drop in applications may include the Dutch online gambling market’s strict regulatory standards and potentially high tax rate. Dutch-licensed iGaming operators will need to swallow a 1.75% problem betting levy and a gross gambling revenue tax rate of 29%, one of Europe’s highest.
operators will need to swallow a 1.75% problem betting levy and a gross gambling revenue tax rate of 29%
Up until April 1, 2021, when the Wet Kansspelen Op Afstand, Koa (Remote Gambling Act) passed into law, all forms of online wagering were illegal in the Netherlands. As is the case around the world, many Dutch bettors were wagering through unregulated offshore sites.
In yesterday’s news release, Jansen said the law’s intention is “to channel players from illegal providers to legally reliable providers.” He expressed confidence that the 28 applications received will lead to a “sufficiently attractive and varied offer” that will encourage Dutch players to move to legal online gambling platforms.
Closure nigh for a neverending Netherlands story
When Dutch bettors greet the dawn of a new legal online betting landscape when the market officially opens in October 2021, it will bring the curtain down on a seemingly neverending journey towards a legal online gambling market.
While proposals for a legal online betting market reached the ears of the Dutch government in 2011, it took until February 2021 for the gambling act to gain approval. An optimistic Jansen later that year announced July 1, 2020 as the legislation’s implementation date, with online wagering slated to go live in January 2021.
In January, however, Dutch Minister of Justice and Security Sander Dekker broke news of yet another launch postponement. Dekker’s proposed new date of October 2021 set the iGaming market launch back nine months from its original go-live slot.