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  • Dutch Sports Betting Market Opening Up in 2021

    Dutch Sports Betting Market Opening Up in 2021

    The government of the Netherlands aims for the Remote Gambling Act to come into force on 1st January 2021. This simply means that the controlled online gambling market will officially open on 1st July 2021 instead of 1st January as initially anticipated. In an update to the government and the concerned parties, Sander Dekker, the Minister for Legal Protection, said that more time is essential to complete the secondary legislations. 

    In more fortunate updates, the minister also said that the Dutch government wouldn't introduce an online gaming advertising ban since such a measure would have the opposite of the desired effect concerning the channelization goals of the government. All operators are expected to make sure that their gambling systems can connect to CRUKS, a centralised register of players who want to exclude themselves from licensed gaming platforms.

    The main aim of the Dutch government is to ensure that all licensees and operators start with a clean slate. This will allow for a completely competitive gambling market from day one. And with lots of modern sports betting platforms available at sites like willing to join the competitive market in Dutch, players will have plenty of options to choose from.

    The Gambling Market Modernization Process in the Netherlands

    The Dutch government started the process of reorganising the gambling market in the country with the establishment of KSA, a regulatory body in 2012. In 2014, there was the introduction of the Remote Gaming Act that marked the next logical step. This act aimed to replace the regulations and laws spanning over five decades back. 

    The Remote Gaming Act provides for the privatisation of the Holland Casino, the state-operated land-based gambling operator, and the allocation of more funds to charities from sportsbooks and online casinos. The piece of law was presented to the lawmakers and House of Representatives, and people expected that it would be voted for before taking effect in early 2015, allowing the market to accept international operators. But it took almost two years before the lower chamber members of the legislature voted to accept the piece in early June 2016. 

    Also, the Remote Gaming Act needed approval from the Dutch Senate, and after a couple of amendments and delays, the piece was approved in February 2019. Currently, the Ministry of Justice is drafting subordinate legislation that'll be attached to the Remote Gaming Bill. As soon as this process is finalised, Kansspelautoriteit, which is the gambling regulatory authority, will be able to draft all the license application conditions and requirements.

    The government of the Dutch Republic has been busy across the past few years following the playbook for the transition to the regulated gambling market, including submitting the online gaming plan to the European Commission for approval in July 2020. Also, the regulatory authority in Dutch, KSA, recently partnered with its counterpart in Malta to make sure that its regulated market can accommodate many gambling operators. 

    The New Condition to the Prioritisation Criteria in the Netherlands 

    Until early 2018, underage gamblers could, without trouble, make use of the Toto's online betting offering, and Sander Dekker recently revealed in a letter that the brand is part of the Dutch Lottery. In the same letter, the minister also said that from 1st January 2020 going forward, the Dutch Gaming Authority will include the absence of the functional age verification system for players from the Netherlands among its prioritisation criteria. 

    All unlicensed gambling operators who meet the prioritisation criteria will be on top of the list for enforcement action, and they're likely to be left out for applying for a remote gambling license once the controlled market opens.

    The Biggest Legislative Breakthrough in the Netherlands

    Once the upcoming regulations and laws are active, all types of gambling operators including crypto betting sites will have to adopt specific policies and tools which are employed to minimise the potential risks of gaming addictions. It means that gamblers will be well-protected, especially as online casinos and sportsbooks will have to make use of self-exclusion programmes. 

    Such programmes allow gamblers to exclude themselves from gambling for a given period. Following this massive breakthrough, Rene Jansen, the Dutch Regulatory Authority Chairperson, said that the regulator would start accepting applications in late 2020. Also, he added that the regulatory body will wait for the Ministry of Security and Justice to adjust and add some technical laws related to the Remote Gaming Act. 

    As a result of this, the regulator cannot start providing gambling operators with licenses until all the final technicalities have been fully modified. Either way, the regulated online gambling market in the country is expected to launch on the 1st of July 2021. 

    Will Foreign Gambling Operators Benefit from the Remote Gaming Act?

    The regulated gaming market in the Netherlands will accept operators from Europe and other parts of the world. This is great news for foreign gambling companies who have been looking to join the gambling industry in the Netherlands. The country has one of the most attractive markets in the world due to the high demand for gambling services in general.

    There is an ever-increasing number of Dutch players, and many foreign gambling companies want to take full advantage of this. Based on the current laws, foreign operators are not allowed to operate in the country, but with the main regulatory body being given enough power and support to control all the gambling activities, casinos and sportsbooks from across the world will now offer their services in the country.

    Final Thoughts

    It might still be some months before the Dutch online gaming market opens officially. However, the good news is that the entire process is in the final stages. This means that players will not have to wait for years to start enjoying the fruits of a well-regulated and modern gambling market

    On the other hand, gambling operators will not wait for long to join one of the rapidly growing gaming markets in the world. If all goes well, players from the Netherlands will have a massive range of new as well as modern operators, including crypto betting sites in the near future.

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