Casinos for youKsa chairman discusses the successful deletion of nearly 90% of the region’s illegal gambling providers, plans for protecting local players and the stability they have achieved in less than 12 months.
The Netherlands was not one of the regions to become an early adopter of legal online gambling. The government chose to forgo quick profits, opting instead to watch as the concept matured and learned from its peers.
This intent was best explained by Ksa chairman René Jansen when he expressed the hope that “the Netherlands would become the textbook example of what should be done if an online gambling market were to open up”.
Looking at what the Dutch regulator has accomplished since writing its new gambling into force on October 1, 2021, is nothing short of amazing. Not only has it shifted a robust online gambling market from illegal to legal casinos, but it has done so without the need for the draconian measures employed by the likes of the UK Gambling Commission in its territory.
Best Foot Forward
Channelisation, the percentage of local gamblers who frequent licensed casinos rather than illegal venues, is a focal point for most regulators. It is seen as a clear indicator of the regulator's success in creating a thriving business sector and then its ability to entice local players to its safer playground.
According to industry forecasts, the relatively new legal gambling market is on track to surpass its goal of 90% channelisation by 2024! This result means less than 10% of the market's quarterly €185 million revenue will leave the country.
With industry projections placing the 2024/5 annual revenue figure for the market at more than €1 billion, it is one of the most fiscally attractive regions in the world.
Drawing A Line in the Sand
One of the significant threats to any country's channelisation efforts is the appeal of unlicensed online casino sites. The seemingly sleepy Dutch regulator has brought the full force of their licensing to bear on 158 illegal gambling providers.
René Jansen said:
"This was exactly the intention of the new law: the legal offer had to push the illegal offer away. With legal providers, the player is assured of a fair game and attention to preventing gambling addiction."
Jansen confirmed in a recent speech that 142 of these sites have subsequently been forced to cease offering games of chance in the region.
The remaining 16 sites have not gotten off scot-free by any stretch of the imagination. Jansen stated that these would be the focus on ongoing investigations and face the possibility of actions which can include fines and other legal acts which carry jail time.
The Next Step
Part of the Ksa’s success is that they never rest on their laurels when protecting legal online gambling operators and the player base. While channelisation helps the operators, the next item on their agenda is the local advertising schedules.
Jansen has expressed his disappointment that licensed operators have not shown any restraint regarding the volume of gambling ads on air.
“I urged the sector to exercise restraint on several occasions. Not to open all the floodgates and to take into account the limited social acceptance of gambling.”
He noted that the industry's "restraint was sadly lacking", which no leaves the Ksa to determine where to draw the line for operators in terms of the number and acceptable flight times for gambling ads to be aired.
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