Belgium’s Casino de Spa is the latest entity to be issued with a licence by the Dutch Gaming Authority, Kansspelautoriteit, becoming the 12th licensed incumbent of the country’s online gambling ecosystem.

The licence, which permits the offer of games of chance via the internet, officially came into effect from February 2, 2022, and will run for a period of five years before being scheduled to expire on February 1, 2027.

It is anticipated that Casino de Spa, which was founded in 1763 and has been rebuilt several times following fires, will enter the country via its online casino and sports betting portal.

The official launch of the region’s online gambling environment saw the Ksa grant an initial ten licences, which 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 include 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

In November, Joi Gaming, via a licence for its online casino, gained the 11th permit. Effective as of November 20, 2021, the licence was granted to the JVH gaming & entertainment group’s subsidiary.

Last month, the Dutch regulator issued a warning of an imminent blackout of illegal, unlicensed online gambling websites within the Netherlands.

This saw the Ksa recommend that players withdraw any remaining funds from these entities, adding that “there are no guarantees that illegal providers will refund money if they can no longer be reached from the Netherlands”. The Ksa, it added, cannot mediate in this.

Following market launch, the Ksa moved quickly to assert that it would be taking significant steps to block illegal operators from targeting Dutch consumers, including IP and payment blocks as well as increased fines and penalties.