The Netherlands launches online gambling licensing regime

The Netherlands launched its online gambling licensing regime on 1 October 2021. The Dutch gaming authority, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), confirmed that ten operators have been granted licences to operate.

The opening of the Netherlands’ licensed online gambling market has been anticipated for some years, during which the KSA has been active in enforcement action against offshore operators that targeted actively Dutch customers.

Operators may now apply for a licence in the Netherlands to provide online games of chance, including casino games, and betting services. More operators are expected to be licensed to provide their online gambling services in the Dutch market.

A number of operators, which have not been granted a licence to provide online gambling services in the Netherlands, have confirmed that they would cease to provide services to the Dutch market.

The chairman of the KSA, Rene Jansen, has highlighted the importance of legalisation and regulation. He has stated “Recent years have shown that simply banning online gambling was no longer possible. Legislation and regulation make it easier to protect consumers against abuses.”

The Netherlands is another leading European country, following Germany and Greece, that this year has implemented a regulatory regime which enables operators to be granted a licence to provide online gambling services in the relevant country. This is also the case in a number of US States (the latest being Connecticut) that have enacted legislation in the last couple of years to license online gambling.

This trend begs the question as to whether it is appropriate for Australia to maintain its prohibitionist policy towards certain categories of online gambling and to consider the introduction of laws which permit the licensing of online gambling services to enable those services to be provided legally to Australians with appropriate customer protection measures.

Want to know more?

If you are interested in the impacts of a changing regulatory framework in the Netherlands or globally or wish to discuss the Australian regulatory framework, please reach out to any member of the Addisons Gambling Law team.

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