Currently, the Netherlands government mostly prohibits online gambling, only allowing sites operating within the Netherlands to accept Dutch players. Things have recently started moving in a positive direction for legalized online gambling, however. The Netherlands Gambling Authority, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) is working towards the complete legalisation of online gambling.
The KSA is the country’s independent gambling authority, and since it was founded in 2012, it has supervised legal gambling in the Kingdom of Netherlands. The KSA implements national gambling policy, enforcing the Betting and Gaming Act of 1964 and any other legislation dealing with gambling both online and in-person.
On the 19th of February 2019, the Dutch Senate voted to approve the Remote Gambling Act. This Act will start to be implemented by the KSA come 2021 and will pave the way for legal online gambling in the Netherlands.
This Act will allow gambling operators to apply for a licence within the Netherlands, letting them accept Dutch players provided they pass strict checks and comply with regulations. This will mean both Netherlands based gambling brands and international gambling companies will be able to set up shop within the country.
There are still several months left to go before the Remote Gambling Act comes into effect, but the KSA has already signed agreements between other national gambling authorities. So far, the KSA has partnered with the Malta Gaming Authority, Swedish Gambling Regulator and the French National Gaming Authority.
The agreements between these regulators allow them to share information, discuss potential changes to policies and help improve regulations for the betterment of the industry. The KSA has also recently stepped up its efforts to combat illegal gambling, issuing fines to providers who have broken regulations. In 2019, the gambling authority collected €3.5 million in fines, a sharp increase from the total of €1.9 million in 2018.
Companies Already Poised to Enter the Dutch Market
While the Remote gambling Act hasn’t come into effect just yet, there are already several Dutch and International gambling brands eyeing up the Dutch market. When the legislation was first passed back in 2019, Dutch gambling companies started preparing for how the law would affect them. Many companies also moved their businesses to Malta, as the new laws will mean that Maltese based companies will also be able to operate within the Netherlands.
In June 2019, the KSA announced it would be taking registrations from companies looking to get a licence to operate in the Netherlands. So far, 79 different gambling brands have applied, meaning that Dutch players can look forward to a lot of variety when licences are processed and awarded in 2021.
How Will the New Laws Affect Players and Operators?
- The new laws will allow the KSA to protect players from shady off-shore gambling sites, giving them a way to play safely and securely online.
- It’s also expected that the KSA will introduce a registry that allows players to find trusted gambling sites easily.
- The laws ultimately focus on imposing regulations to better protect players and improve the quality of gambling sites for Dutch players.
- Rules of the KSA have been laid out for operators to get familiar with before the Gambling Act comes into effect in 2021
- Operators must abide by strict rules set out by the KSA in order to receive a Curacao gambling license.
- Those that fail to meet regulations will be unable to accept Dutch players, and if a site is found to be breaking regulations, they can face heavy sanctions.
Overall, the future’s looking bright for online gambling in the Netherlands. The KSA has already set out clear guidelines and regulations for operators to follow come 2021 and Dutch players will finally be able to enjoy online gambling safely. It’s not known exactly what the results will be, but the KSA appear to be doing everything right to set up the successful implementation of the Gambling Act.