Pitted to be one of the most explosive market launches this year, authorities in the Netherlands are readying licensees and regulations for online play to begin on 1 October.
The country’s Remote Gambling Act (KOA) officially came into effect on 1 April this year, after nine years of political wrangling and delays. The Dutch regulator, KSA, has now stated it expects to issue approximately 35 licences before October, but none will be able to take bets before the October launch date, or face losing their permit.
In a declaration of intent, he regulator has also announced a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the British Gambling Commission, aimed at strengthening cooperation between the two organisations, such as information sharing on cross border activities, such as money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
“The MoU forms a good basis for sharing knowledge, cooperation and a smooth exchange of information,” said KSA chairman Rene Jansen. “A clear signal is also given to providers of games of chance that cooperation is taking place at an international level.
“Online games of chance move across borders. That is why it is important that regulators work together.” Many stakeholders see the Netherlands as being a unique opportunity in terms of newly regulated territories given its wealthy player base, many of whom have been betting online with unlicensed sites in the grey market for many years.
Previous reports from the regulator have projected “regulated and unregulated online gambling revenues will reach E1.1bn by 2024” and to grow the portion of licensed operators to “80 percent for the next three years”.