Kansspelautoriteit (hereafter referred to as KSA), the Netherlands authority tasked with enforcing current gambling stipulations, has announced that the remote gambling will commence in the country on January 1st, 2021. The announcement comes after the Dutch Senate had approved a Draft Bill on Remote Gambling and passed it into law. With the passage of the Remote Gambling bill into law, the Dutch market that is usually regarded as a grey area will become fully operative and open to online gambling.
Consequent upon this, existing and intending gambling operators are to come forward and apply for a licence to operate online gambling sites within the territories of Netherlands. To this point, gambling in the Netherlands is reserved to Holland Casino, a monopoly run by the Dutch government, and factually the only legal gambling outlet in the country. The Dutch-owned enterprise has 14 casinos spread across the country, as the government expectedly manages its profits for good causes. So, operating an online gambling company in the country is considered illegal, which has seen KSA warding off attempts to operate in the country.
However, the new law has made it quite open, legal, legitimate, and ultimately rational for Dutch citizens and foreign companies to apply for a licence to run remote gambling platforms. Thus, the monopoly enjoyed by the state-owned enterprise is released, and with new operators in place, bettors can bet where they so desire. Furthermore, with legalized online gambling in the country, unauthorized and unregulated gambling operators would likely be discovered and weeded out by KSA.
Some of the Very Core Regulations
There’s no gainsaying that licensing would bring about standardized, professional and ethical gambling within the Dutch territories. Amid several strict conditions for licensing, KSA considers the following as sacrosanct:
Operators applying for a licence must be listed in the Central Exclusion Register (CRUKS) The Central Exclusion Register (CRUKS) is a register that contains the complete detailed information of all players that are addicted to gambling. Upon being included in the register, all such players are compulsorily stopped from any involvement in online betting. KSA obtains its information through the Central Database that allows the regulator to monitor players’ gambling activities. The company, on its end, is to submit to the KSA any such player whom they have reasonable cause to believe is engaging in harmful gambling.
- Operators and the promoters of their company to undergo compulsory scrutiny
As part of its integrity test, the KSA subjects all operators’ request for a licence to scrutiny. The examination also extends to the promoters of the online gambling company and the true nature of its management.
- Compulsory Access of the authorities to a Control Database
Online gambling operators must establish and maintain a Control Database (CDB) that has all activities of the company, including the kind of and the number of gambling markets they provide bettors. The KSA is to have control over the database so that it can always check in to it and access the activities of the operators. The CDB must be subscribed to by all operators.
The Import of the Remote Gambling Law
The import of the Remote Gambling Law (hereafter referred to the law) is a question that deserves to be treated. For clarity, this is divided into Operators and Players, viz:
A number of global online gambling companies like CasinoTop are looking to leverage the opportunities presented by the law. One of such opportunities is the untapped Dutch market, which is relatively a greenfield for operators. With the monopoly out, there is bound to be a massive spike in the number of players interested in gambling, since it’s now accessible via their smartphones. Also, with the spike in number comes a spike in revenues and profits of such operators.
More so, with CDB, operators would share resources, such as pooled progressive jackpots for more patronage at the sites. On the whole, the law will offer operators leverage to serve the currently underserved areas in the country while also maximizing profits.
The KSA is empowered to close down and penalize all illegally operating online gambling operators after the law comes into effect. What this means is that players will only bet at regulated online gambling outlets. Also, players’ data will be adequately protected from harm by dubious gambling enterprises that parade in the gambling sphere.
Based on professional etiquette, the law ensures that any amount won by players at regulated online betting sites must be paid out to them. Ergo, the opening up of the country to different online betting sites will be of immense value to players.
Last Thoughts on Dutch Online Gambling in 2021
The passage of the law suggests that citizens and residents of the Netherlands are about to be a witness to the fortunes that come from online gambling. The professional gambling market is the safest for players, given the regulation involved. It is for this reason that players, operators, and the authorities would make the best of the industry once kickstarted.