According to online gambling pundits, the approved draft of Netherland’s Remote Gambling Act is primed to see exceptional market growth in a very short space of time. The Act which has been through several iterations leading up to 2021 was finally approved with far more lenient requirements than initially anticipated.
This balanced approach to gambling regulation has encouraged gaming operators and players alike as both parties look forward to playing in an environment that protects the players while also allowing the business side of the industry to flourish.
Growth Begins Now
Analysts are bullish about the potential of the Dutch market as a key online casino and sports betting territory given its current standing. While gambling is popular in the region the country’s laws left most punters playing at unregulated offshore gambling sites.
As of last year, the number of active gamblers in the Netherlands topped 1.2 million with total gambling revenues from this player segment exceeding €3 billion per annum. As these players are drawn into regulated casinos it will mean an instant and sizable revenue increase for the Dutch coffers.
At present Dutch game preferences are split as follows:
- Table Games – 63%
- Online Slots – 25%
- Other Casino Games – 12%
Initially, the local preference for low margin table games could see income from players being limited, however, as casinos offer welcome bonuses and reload bonuses on popular slot machines net revenues are expected to increase.
Key Aspects of the Gaming Act
The Dutch Gaming Act which has been approved makes allowance for online games of chance and sports betting, however, no provision was made for the organisation of online lotteries as the Dutch National Lottery (Staatsloterij) has been the domain of the state since it was established in 1726.
Here are 5 highlights of the new Dutch Remote Gaming Act:
- To promote safer gambling in the region players can register, or be registered with, the Central Register of Exclusion of Gambling (CRUKS).
- All licenced operators must refer to CRUKS before sending out any marketing material to avoid promoting to excluded players.
- Licence holders are held accountable for the prevention of money laundering, financing of terrorism and violation of sanction regulations.
- Betting operators are required to support the actions of the National Match Fixing Platform and its international partners in recognising and preventing match-fixing and other forms of abuse.
- No betting is allowed where events concern youth matches, athletes are unpaid participants and where the match is not taking place in the country that the bet is being placed.
The Gaming Act also goes so far as to ensure that players are never extended lines of credit at a gaming site with the inclusion of article 4.28 which requires a licence holder to ensure that players are never in debt to the casino or are allowed to continue to gamble should they have a “negative balance”.
Overall, the new Gaming Act has all the hallmarks of a free and fair regulatory framework. We will continue to keep you appraised of any future developments and amendments to the Act as the regulator begins to iron out the kinks that arise when paper laws meet real-world gambling habits.