Dutch illegal vertical ‘largely suppressed’ since regulation

Illegal offering within the Dutch regulated market has been “largely suppressed” since its inception on October 1, 2021, according to Rene Jansen, KSA Chairman.

Speaking on the Dutch Gaming Authority’s recently published 2021 annual report, Jansen pinpointed to the reports addendum and stated the decline in illegal casino usage was “exactly the intention of the Koa Act”.  

He stated: “People who want to gamble online should be able to do so in a safe, regulated environment.

“At the same time, the graph shows that on balance since October 1, the total number of hours that consumers spend on gambling sites has been greater than before October 1. 

“An explanation could be that the legalisation of online games of chance drew consumers’ attention to its existence. After all, in the run-up to legalisation there was a lot of media attention for online games of chance. And of course there has been a lot of advertising since October 1. 

“At the request of the House of Representatives, the minister has now announced far-reaching measures against this. The sector itself has also pledged advertising restrictions. 

“It is too early to say whether the increased total playing hours since October 1 is a structural development.”

Since the introduction of the Remote Gamblihng Act, the Ksa has granted 18 online gambling licences. Whilst early signs are positive, Jansen stated that the market is “still very much in the early stages” and stressed caution when “drawing conclusions”.

Looking into the facts of the report, Jansen made note of the number of player accounts at the beginning of March, which stood at 634,000, and compared to predictions pre-market. 

Jansen added: “This is an important insight, because earlier estimates have been made of approximately one million Dutch people who – occasionally or more often – participate in games of chance on the internet. There is even a recent survey that came in at 1.8 million. 

“Those estimates therefore seem exaggerated, also because a number of large providers without a licence no longer offer in the Netherlands since October 1. In other words: the number of players who still gamble with illegal providers has fallen sharply.”

Jansen made a third and final observation from the annual report where he noted the Central Register of Exclusion of Games of Chance had passed 10,000 registrations. These are people who want to protect themselves for at least six months against participating in games of chance. 

“It always takes a while before such a register is known and has found its way to the target group,” Jansen concluded. “The number of more than 10,000 registrations tells me that we are on the right track. Cruks is an important remedy for gambling addiction. So it’s good that people know where to find the registry.”