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Opening Dutch online casino market delayed

The 1st of October is an important date for the Dutch gambling industry, as it means the opening of the Dutch online casino market. For decades, the government tried to delay the opening up of the Dutch online casino market. And while 4 Dutch gambling companies and 6 international operators were granted a Dutch online casino licence, waiting for the first Dutch players to sign up, the country’s self-exclusion system Cruks threw a spanner in the works!

Regulated Dutch online casino market

While we know the Dutch as outgoing, innovative and progressive, the Netherlands has been extremely hesitant when it comes to regulating online gambling. But the European Commission has pushed the Netherlands into regulating their online gambling market. There’s no way back, today is the day of the opening of the Dutch online casino market.

Earlier this year, the 1st of October was announced as the day the approved licensees could go online, offering their services to the Dutch players in a more controlled environment.

Right after the approval of the Dutch Remote Gambling Act (KOA), around 100 companies indicated that they were interested in a Dutch casino licence. However, the requirements came out to be too much of a deal for most operators.

The Dutch gambling authority (Ksa) expected to receive around 40 applications and was planning to grand around 35 online casino licences. In the end, only 28 casino operators submitted an application that had to pay the stipulated €48,000 fee along with it.

A few days ago, the news was brought that so far, only 10 out of 28 casino licences were approved. Among the new Dutch licence holders, you find two state-owned companies, two Dutch operators, as well as six international operators.

Obviously, state-owned Holland Casino’s application was approved by the Ksa with players soon to be able to enter their online casino. The same goes for state-owned Toto which has a focus on sports betting.

Betcity and Fair Play are the two other Dutch applicants that are allowed to go live in the newly regulated Dutch online casino market.

The six operators that have no connections with Dutch gambling companies are Hillside (Bet365), the Belgian Bingoal, NSUS Malta (GG Poker), Play North (Batavia Casino), Tombola and Livescore Malta.

Opening Dutch online casino market delayed

Now the Netherlands Gaming Authority Kansspelautoriteit (Ksa) has granted 10 online gaming licences and 1st October is here, it’s time to go live! At least, that was the plan, but the Cruks system threw a spanner in the works.

The Dutch online casino licences permit the operators to offer online casino games, sports betting, online bingo and online poker via the internet in the Netherlands from 1 October 2021. So, you can imagine that the 10 licensees had everything ready to go live after all those months of hard work and years of waiting.

Ready to sign up the first Dutch players in a legal gambling market, a technical fault in the country’s new self-exclusion system Cruks, caused them to cancel their website launch.

What is Cruks?

Cruks is the Dutch self-exclusion system that can be compared to GAMSTOP (UK) and Spelpaus (Sweden). The Centraal Register Uitsluiting Kansspelen (Cruks) is a control system set up to go online as soon as the Dutch online casino market would open up. The Cruks system ensures that problem gamblers no longer have access to the regulated online casinos.

Thanks to the malfunction in the Cruks system, the ten gambling companies whose Dutch online casino license has been approved cannot go live.

The Cruks system is important when opening up. When a technical glitch makes it impossible for licensees to have access to the Cruks system, they can’t see if players are problem players and therefore should be denied access.

The Dutch Gaming Authority (Ksa) therefore decide to delay the opening of the Dutch online casino market until all licensees have access to Cruks.


By on 1 October, 2021