Dutch Gambling Authority releases market forecast

Today, Dutch Gambling Authority (Kansspelautoriteit/Ksa) published a report forecasting the Dutch online gaming market.

The report explores possible consequences of the upcoming legalization and regulation of online gambling in the Netherlands with the Remote Gambling Act (Wet Kansspelen op Afstand/Koa). It does so by taking a closer look on Sweden, Denmark and France who have recently been thru a similar transition.

The report shows that the market for online gambling in the Netherlands has grown in recent years, even though the provision of online gambling was unregulated. According to the report this growth can be attributed to advancing digitization; growth is observed in countries where online gambling is regulated as well as in countries where they are illegal.

Nonetheless, the report also shows that the growth in the Netherlands would have been much greater if there had not been the prospect of legalization and regulation of online gambling activities. Offering specific and targeted services to Dutch consumers would endanger operators’ chances of obtaining a license.

Another explanation for the lagging growth in the Netherlands versus other European countries is that the Ksa actively combatted online-operators that nonetheless were specifically focusing on Dutch customers. In 2018, 1.7million euros in fines were imposed while in 2019 the amount grew to 3.5million euros.

Online gaming-operators are currently anticipating the opening of the legal Dutch market as of October 1, 2021. While taking some margin for error, the Ksa report shows that in 2024, the Dutch market can expect a gross gaming revenue of approximately 800 million euros.

The objective of the Remote Gambling Act (Koa) is to ensure that players stay away from illegal providers. An estimated 1 million Dutch people participate in occasional and regular online gambling and currently they can only do so with unlicensed operators. These players are not being looked after for example when it comes to addiction prevention. Nor is there any legal assurance of fair play. With the Remote Gambling Act in place, licensees continuously need to comply to strict regulations and will be controlled by the Ksa. The report shows that the Ksa are expecting to see roughly 90% of the players returning from unlicensed operators.

René Jansen, Ksa Chairman of the board, comments on the report:

“In addition to the upcoming processing of applications for an online gambling license, we are already mapping out how we will organize the supervision of online providers. Enforcement of the remaining unlicensed and illegal operators will need to receive full attention, with the Ksa aiming to keep the number of these operators to a minimum. We consider this latest report an important asset in this matter. We believe that market knowledge is crucial for good supervision. With regards to future licensees, the focus will be on their attention to addiction prevention. This is an essential objective of the Koa: players need to be able to rely on safe and reliable operators.”

Online gaming-operators can submit their application for a Dutch license on April 1 in order to be able to start operating from October 1 this year.

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