As the online gambling market opens for business in the Netherlands, the country’s regulator, Kansspelautoriteit, has said that the ten permits that have been issued thus far are “only the beginning”.
Lauding the implementation of the Remote Gaming Act as an “important step in the modernisation of the Dutch gambling policy,” René Jansen, chair of the Dutch gaming authority, says that the move was made as “simply banning online gambling was no longer possible”.
Earlier this week, the Ksa confirmed the first ten entrants that were permitted to operate upon the long awaited opening of the country’s legalised online gambling market, which took place at midnight (Friday 1 October).
This saw the Toto Online brand of Nederlandse Loterij; Dutch arcade group FPO Netherlands; Holland Casino; and NSUS Malta, which counts GGPoker as part of its stable; all gain approvals.
Further entrants included Estonia’s Play North, operator of the Rocket Casino and Pikakasino brands, bingo operator Tombola, bet365; Belgian brand Bingoal, Italy’s Betent; and LiveScore Malta.
Upon today’s market opening, Jansen elaborated on pending applications after it previously communicated that 29 had been received ahead of October 1.
“Applications are still pending,” he said. “There is a category of providers that have not yet been allowed to apply for a permit. This is the result of the Postema’s motion that was tabled during the consideration of the bill in the Senate.
“Other providers may also be interested, but they are waiting to submit an application because they are not yet ready for it. Strict conditions must be met and strict testing is carried out. But there will certainly be more permit holders.”
Upon launch of the country’s digital ecosystem, there is also a legal requirement for all Ksa licensed online gambling operators to centralise their player databases with the CRUKS self-exclusion system.
Jansen recently confirmed a revised penalty policy that will also come into effect, with a legitimate market meaning “heavy fines for illegal operators.”
“The mission of the Gaming Authority is ‘to play it safe’, the consumer who wants to participate in games of chance must be able to do so in a safe environment,” it was added.
“He must be assured of a fair game. And the provider must pay sufficient attention to the prevention of gambling addiction.
“Today, an important step has been taken with the opening up of the legal market for online gambling. Recent years have shown that simply banning online gambling was no longer possible. With legalisation and regulation, it is better possible to protect consumers against abuses.”