Gaming operators in the Netherlands should be prepared for more changes to the industry. The head of the country’s gambling regulator expects 2022 to pick up where things left off last year.
The Netherlands has a gaming industry that has been met with a degree of trepidation. It took years for the country’s updated gambling regulations to be implemented, finally finding their place last year. Since September, particularly for the iGaming segment, there has been a lot more regulatory activity.
2022 is going to bring even more. Rene Jansen, the chairman of the Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), published a blog post today discussing plans for the new year.
The iGaming Industry is Evolving
Jansen led into his post by explaining that, last year, there were 11 online gambling licenses. However, more are to be issued this year. Some operators were required to submit to a “cooling-off period” that is going to expire at some point in 2022.
The KSA boss added, “There are also undoubtedly providers who, in their own estimation, have not yet met the extensive and detailed requirements that are set for a permit. The (KSA) currently has quite a few applications pending. At the end of the summer, there will be a much more complete picture.”
As 2021 was coming to a close, Dutch lawmakers were addressing the link between gambling and advertising. They didn’t complete their discussions, and the topic will be coming up again soon to clear the air.
“Everyone understands that some degree of advertising is needed to entice players to switch from illegal to legal providers, but don’t overdo it, I would say. Otherwise, the shore will turn the ship,” KSA chair Rene Jansen explains.
While self-regulation would be the ideal solution, Jansen believes that government intervention is necessary to hold operators accountable.
More Industry Oversight on the Way
Jansen made it clear that operators will need to be more vigilant with all of their operations. He pointed out that this year will mark the beginning of a new phase in the regulator’s supervisory activity.
Under the new Gambling Act, providers of high-risk online and country-specific games of chance are required to give various data to the KSA. The agency’s supervisors will be watching for potential risks, based on this data-driven supervision.
It isn’t clear how many data points may be compiled and analyzed. But Jansen expects a lot of data processing will take place. He also believes the KSA will spend more time comparing operators against each other. If one is handling its responsibilities better than another, the KSA is going to want to know why the second isn’t keeping up.
Jansen closed his post by welcoming new Minister for Legal Protection Franc Weerwind. He acknowledged that the Dutch gambling market has been effectively modernized through the approval of the new laws. However, he points out that “important steps” still need to be taken.