Dutch Casino Licence
The most important date to remember when it comes to online gambling in the Netherlands is October 1, 2021. It’s the date that the first regulated online casinos went online. From this day, an online casino targeting Dutch players must be in the possession of a Dutch casino licence, granted from de Kansspelautoriteit (Ksa), the gambling authority in the Netherlands.
Online gambling in the Netherlands
Since 1969, gambling in the Netherlands was entrusted only to state-owned monopoly partners, including Holland Casino and Nederlandse Loterij (Dutch Lottery).
In 1994, the gambling landscape started to change with the introduction of the first online casinos. Some countries introduced a casino licensing system, becoming an iGaming jurisdiction.
Thanks to iGaming jurisdictions in Europe, like Malta, operators had the opportunity to apply for a casino licence to provide their online casino services in any country part of the European Economic Area (EEA).
The EEA Agreement guarantees the freedom to provide services on a non-discriminatory basis anywhere in the European Economic Area. Therefore, online casino operators, for a long time, offered their platforms to millions of European players comfortable enough with the idea of online gambling.
With no clear restrictions regarding online gambling nor a casino licencing system, online gambling became a so-called grey area in the country.
Avoiding the inevitable regulations
Although the first online gambling sites appeared on the World Wide Web in 1994, online gambling is still rather new as an industry. Nevertheless, it experienced a true revolution in the past years.
Over the years, the iGaming industry changed entirely, from a non-regulated industry, with extremely simple websites, to a regulated billion-euro industry. Now including hundreds of high-quality websites licensed by either iGaming jurisdictions or through a local casino licencing system.
With no EU legislation in place regarding online gambling services, it’s up to each EU country to decide how they organize their gambling services. In any way, they must comply with the fundamental freedoms established under the TFEU and with that the freedom to provide services or to open a business in another EU country.
Most EU countries, by now, regulated online gambling. Therefore, they allow players to enjoy online gambling with licensed operators. Some countries allow all games, while others only allow certain types of online gambling. This could be betting, poker, lottery, or live casino.
Over the years, however, a growing number of EU countries established casino licencing systems, allowing more than one operator to offer online gambling services.
The Netherlands is one of the European jurisdictions with a long-standing monopolistic regime, run by two state-controlled operators.
The Dutch government, however, kept on delaying what was eventually inevitable; regulating online gambling. The country remained protective of state-owned gambling companies.
The introduction of the Betting and Gambling Act 2021
After decades of postponing what was inevitable, the Dutch Remote Gambling Act 2021 came into effect on April 1, 2021.
The industry depended on rules made in 1964 and the online sector falls out of scope with the said rules. The Betting and Gambling Act 2021 falls into place with the current trends and internet practices.
The Betting and Gambling Act 2021 (Wet op Kansspelen 2021) prohibits operators from offering casino games without the requisite casino licence. It also prohibits facilitating unlicensed games of chance.
The aim of the law is to create an attractive legal online gambling offer for Dutch players. The Dutch government wants to channel Dutch players to regulated online casinos. Initially, only ten operators got their Dutch casino licence approved. Not enough to create an attractive enough market for regular players.
It’s the Dutch gambling authority (Kansspelautoriteit, Ksa) that’s responsible for the enforcement of the Betting and Gambling Act 2021.
Although the Dutch Remote Gambling act officially came into effect on April 1, 2021, the official opening date of the newly regulated market was October 1, 2021.
Dutch casino licence
Right after the approval of the Dutch Remote Gambling Act (KOA) in April 2021, 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.
Operators applying for a Dutch casino licence are required to have in place an effective responsible gambling strategy. They also need to agree to connect with the country’s Central Register of Exclusion of Gambling (Cruks). Operators also paid a stipulated €48,000 fee along.
While expected to receive some 40 applications and planning to grand 35 operators a Dutch casino licence, the Dutch gambling authority (Ksa) received a humble 29 applications.
Initially, Ksa approved the application for a Dutch casino licence for 4 Dutch gambling companies and 6 international operators. On the day the market opened up in October 2021, the Dutch Gambling Authority announced that it was still in the process of approving more casino licences.
A Dutch casino licence permits an operator to offer online casino games, sports betting, online bingo and/or online poker via the internet in the Netherlands from 1 October 2021.
Cruks is the Dutch self-exclusion system that you can compare to GAMSTOP (UK) and Spelpaus (Sweden).
The Centraal Register Uitsluiting Kansspelen (Cruks) is a control system that ensures that problem gamblers no longer have access to regulated online casinos.
The Cruks system forces online casinos with a Dutch casino licence to check if players are problem players. If indeed the case, the operator is obliged to refuse the player.
Approved applications for a Dutch casino licence
|Holland Casino N.V||1 October 2021|
|TOTO Online B.V. (Nederlandse Loterij)||1 October 2021|
|Play North Limited||1 October 2021|
|Hillside (New Media Malta) PLC (Bet365)||1 October 2021|
|FPO Nederland B.V.||1 October 2021|
|NSUS Malta Limited (GG Poker)||1 October 2021|
|Tombola International Malta PLC||1 October 2021|
|Bingoal Nederland B.V.||1 October 2021|
|Betent B.V.||1 October 2021|
|LiveScore Malta Limited||1 October 2021|
|JOI Gaming Limited||20 November 2021|
|Casino de Spa||2 February 2022|
|JOI I Limited & JOI II Limited||9 February 2022|
|ZEbetting & Gaming Nederland B.V.||16 February 2022|
|Betca B.V.||9 March 2022|
|Novamedia Gaming B.V.||9 March 2022|
|711||16 March 2022|