The Dutch gambling regulator de Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has announced it will monitor 25 gambling websites as part of a new enforcement approach that requires all unlicensed gambling operators to block Dutch customers.
This comes after the regulated online Dutch gambling market went live on 1 October.
KSA to monitor 25 sites
Yesterday, the Dutch regulator announced it has selected 25 gambling sites that will be examined in more detail.
The 25 sites will be monitored as part of a new enforcement approach that has been adopted by the Dutch regulator. These operators are now required to block all potential Dutch customers.
The KSA said that it will check if Dutch players can access any of the 25 sites. The regulator said that if they can, “sanctions will follow.”
Sanctions will apply to operators of the gambling sites and could potentially apply to third parties such as payment service providers and advertisers that promote the sites.
The decision to monitor the sites comes after the regulator adopted a new approach to unlicensed gambling once the online Dutch gambling market went live on 1 October.
Prior to this new approach, operators only needed to avoid specifically targeting the Netherlands, but now they must block all Dutch customers.
When the country’s online gambling market went live, several major operators announced they would block all Dutch customers. The UK-based Entain said the decision would cost the business £5m per month in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), meanwhile Kindred said its EBITDA would take a £12m hit.
Other operators that have agreed to block Dutch customers include Betsson, Casumo, LeoVegas, and 888. Despite this, the KSA said that there are still many operators accepting Dutch customers.
The KSA explained that as there is now a legal gambling offering in the country, its responsibility is to direct customers towards licensed operators.
According to the KSA: “The reason for the new policy is that the amended Gambling Act has made it possible to legally offer games of chance via the internet since 1 October. At legal providers, participants in games of chance can play in a safe environment, in which there is a reliable game and sufficient attention for gambling addiction.
“An objective of the law is to ‘channel’ players from illegal to legal providers.”
Online gambling in the Netherlands
At the time of writing, just 10 operators have been awarded licenses to offer online gambling in the Netherlands.
The licensees include Bet365, UK-based bingo operator Tombola and Malta- and Estonia-licensed Play North Ltd as well as Dutch land-based operator Holland Casino NV.
The state lottery Nederlandse Loterij’s TOTO Online betting brand is also licensed.
Other licensed operators include the Janshen Hahnraths Group with FPO Nederland, Italy-based Betent, Belgian brand Bingoal, NSUS Malta, which runs the GGPoker.eu brand and sports media and betting firm LiveScore Malta.
The KSA had initially expected to receive up to 40 license applications and predicted it would award 35. However, in April the KSA revealed it had only received 28 applications.
Several online gambling brands were unable to receive licenses due to a cooling-off period stipulated by the Dutch gambling regulations. This meant that some licensees must have refrained from offering online games of chance to Dutch customers for at least two years.