The Netherlands Green Lights Online Gambling


On 1 October, online gambling officially made its debut in the Netherlands thus bringing a long wait for the sector’s arrival to an end. Gamblers are no longer restricted to land-based casinos and offshore gambling sites. It is now possible to legally gamble online at several locally regulated online casinos.

A Long Time Coming

Even though the Netherlands has always had a lot of potential as an iGaming market, online gambling remained illegal in the country for years. Things, however, started looking up thanks to the arrival of the Remote Gambling Act (KOA) which was initially scheduled to be passed into law on 1 July 2020. The iGaming market would then go live in early 2021. This did not come to pass.

After a couple of other delays and more deliberation, KOA eventually got enacted on 1 April 2021. The market was then meant to open six months later and this has finally come to pass. That marked a whole new chapter for the country. Simply deeming the sector to be illegal was not working as it was intended. Besides, the legalization and regulation of the market not only make it easier to protect the consumers but also opens doors for a previously untapped revenue source.

Strict Rules for Operators

Already, the Dutch Gambling Authority has issued licenses to some popular gambling operators that expressed interest in the market. These include Holland, Casino, the Dutch Lottery, bet365, Play North Limited, TOTO Online betting, LiveScore Malta and among others.

All these operators are required to adhere to some very strict rules and regulations. To beginning with, they will have to pay taxes just like other businesses across the country – a rate has been set for this. Moreover, these companies must ensure that they are taking steps to prevent money laundering on their platforms.

Another rule that is in place is meant to address the growing concern of gambling-related harm especially now that online gambling is legal. First off, the minimum age for online gamblers in the Netherlands is 18. The gaming operators need to have mechanisms in place to ensure that people of the legal age can access their services.

With about 1.5 million active online gamblers in the Netherlands, it is important to have ways of protecting them from harm. The country’s gambling laws also require that gambling adverts be done responsibly. This means that they should not only be misleading but should also not encourage the players to indulge excessively.

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