Published: November 19, 2019

Netherlands to Delay Launch of New Online Gambling Regulatory Regime

Netherlands to Delay Launch of New Online Gambling Regulatory Regime

  • Regulatory body Ksa announced Remote Gambling Act won't become live until January 1, 2021
  • Extra six-month delay pushes earliest debuts for Dutch-licensed online sites to July 2021
  • Four types of online licenses will be available once application window opens

Kansspelautoriteit adds six months to roll-out schedule

The Netherlands Gambling Authority, the Kansspelautoriteit (Ksa), has announced a six-month delay in its existing plans to launch the country’s new online gambling licensing and regulatory framework.

The revised roll-out schedule was communicated as the country continues its efforts to enact the new rules called for under the Remote Gambling Act (Koa) approved in February 2019.

No online licenses will be issued until some point after July 1, 2021.

On November 15, Netherlands Minister of Justice and Security Sander Dekker announced the delay to the Dutch Parliament. As a result, the Koa will come into effect on January 1, 2021. At that point, a six-month application window for operator licensing will open, meaning no online licenses will be issued until some point after July 1, 2021.

At the present time, all forms of online gambling are considered illegal by the Dutch authorities. However, many of the country’s citizens gamble online through sites located in other countries.

‘Two pillars’ regulatory plan

According to Dekker’s ministry, the Netherlands’ regulatory plans will rest on two pillars. The first is the legalization of online gambling itself, while the second is the addition of further addictive-gambling protections to Dutch law. The latter will also become applicable to the country’s land-based gambling forms.

The delay announced also gives the Ksa an opportunity to fine-tune its regulatory framework. When the primary Remote Gambling Act was passed, the Dutch Senate introduced four motions, or amendments, that also needed to be addressed. According to Dekker, this added to the delay.

Just one week ago, the Ksa also released updated information on the applications process. The application fee will be €45,000 ($49,856) per online site, and operators may apply for any of four different online (remote) betting forms:

  • Casino games where players play against the license holder
  • Casino games where players play against each other
  • Betting on events during a sports competition or on the outcome of a sports competition
  • Bets on horse racing and hard trotting results

More crackdowns likely in the interim

Meanwhile, the Ksa is likely to continue its ongoing series of investigations and assessments against online operators found to have targeted Dutch gamblers. Since the Koa’s passage, several operators have been hit with fines in the region of several hundreds of thousands of euro.

Firms targeted have included PokerStars, Unibet, Casumo,, LeoVegas, and Royal Panda. In most of these cases, the penalized operators were found to offer Dutch-language service and support, use Netherlands-based banking services, or include other uniquely Dutch elements.

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