Matej Tomic, business development manager of, one of the Netherlands’ affiliate websites, details a highly positive start to the legal market in terms of traffic.

This year has seen the Dutch market transform into a legitimate entertainment experience. October 2021 marked the opening of the gates for the Netherlands, with new online gambling legislation entering into force that allows private offshore operators to apply for a licence for the first time. 

Despite having little over a month of legitimacy under its belt, the emerging Dutch online gambling market is already on course to become one of Europe’s biggest. It may only be early days, but local players are already spending more money on their favourite types of gaming entertainment than in other major European jurisdictions.

With the new law introducing an expanded betting offering and legalising additional gaming verticals, Dutch players are expected to embrace the newly licensed operators, resulting in fast market growth from the onset.  

Given market conditions and player appetites, affiliate websites are in prime position to offer expertise in driving traffic to legal casinos in the Netherlands. Figures already show that, in the months preceding the market’s opening, traffic was moderate. 

From September 29th, however, in the direct run up to the opening, we saw a steady increase, with a clear spike on October 1st. The appetite for legitimate avenues for gaming and betting in the country is clear to see. 

One of the main reasons the affiliate community experienced such a positive start was the surge in search volume for keywords, with some rising to three to four times their previous search volume. Although we are always confident in our abilities, the opening day data uptick was above even our high expectations. 

“…we are the witnesses to a new beginning for the Dutch online gambling scene”

There are multiple avenues for driving traffic within the new-look Dutch market. The delivery of valuable, well-resourced and engaging information that captures the attention of prospective players is important. Those affiliates who have been presenting information to Dutch players long before the legal market opened can potentially benefit greatly from their long-established reputation, with brand loyalty leading to a greater level of high-quality traffic.

Articles on newly launched casinos, which went live minutes after the launch, provided a perfect example of compelling content. We saw that our efforts to direct customers to sources of meaningful news resulted in a high number of click-throughs, with figures displaying a huge spike in interest that peaked on October 8, with one article alone receiving over 1340 views.

The presentation of solid, reliable news is mutually beneficial to the market as a whole. While the affiliate experiences traffic increases for its brands, customers in the Netherlands feel their demand for fresh insight into a newly open market is being met. 

In the months and years that have led up to the market opening, restrictions on online gambling in Dutch gambling law forced almost 50 per cent of sports bettors to use unlicensed sites, which could offer products such as live betting and bonus promotions. 

Now that legal online casinos can offer the most popular games, players have one less reason to look to unlicensed casinos. Leading affiliates have the responsibility of fostering a change in the market’s philosophy to lead from the frontline in the charge for driving traffic to these legal casinos. 

Such efforts ultimately result in the best possible experience for the player. If developers are licensed, they can offer the most comprehensive selection of games possible, and affiliates want to justify this by providing a healthy flow of users. 

Although it is too early to draw conclusions on the level of channelisation in the Netherlands, it is important that reputable affiliates distinguish themselves from those in the industry who are still pushing players to unregulated operators.

With a bright future for the market lying ahead, we are the witnesses to a new beginning for the Dutch online gambling scene. Affiliates find themselves on the front line and it is our task to drive growth within a safe, legal framework by ensuring players are guided towards the best legitimate casinos.