Dutch Gambling Regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) received 28 new gambling license applications from potential operators willing to enter the highly lucrative gambling market, which is scheduled to go live on October 1, 2021. The figures surfaced as part of KSA’s recent update on the licensing window, which opened on April 1.
Commenting on the subject, Rene Jansen, KSA’s Chairman, expressed satisfaction with the current number of licensing applications. His statement reads, “The law was passed with the sole intention of convincing punters to switch over to legal gambling platforms and curb the widespread illegal operations. With the current number of requests, I’m confident that the regulated market will soon offer a more lucrative proposition than the illegal market currently provides”.
To apply for a license, the operators must first meet a set of pre-market technical prerequisites. This comes with maintaining a comprehensive customer database and remotely connecting the platform with “CRUKS”, the national self-exclusion list. According to the final amendments made to the Remote Gambling Act (KOA), operators must provide the authorities with a “quality assurance document” approved by an independent auditor to be eligible for the provisional license.
Moreover, every applicant must register and appoint a “Dutch Officer”. The main reason to legally represent the business at all future regulatory meetings and promotional events in the country.
The Key Changes
According to the KSA’s official statement, “The legislation modernizes the country’s Games of Chance policy. Amending the regulations for online games is the most eye-catching innovation at the moment”.
“Furthermore, the legislation puts the operator in charge of addiction prevention measures and control of all high-risk games, including online and offline gambling. The new regulations also play a key part in the advertising and recruitment process”, the KSA added.
The Dutch gambling operator reportedly earned over €47,928 from application fees. Potential bidders are required to pay a registration fee to be eligible for the application process. Applying for a gambling license is the first step the operators must take to offer their services in the Netherlands.
Changing Trends in Online Gambling
The KSA has been actively working to prevent unregulated online operators from offering their services in the Netherlands. The regulatory body recently imposed fines of up to €350,000 and €400,000 on LeoVegas and Royal Panda, respectively, for trying to bypass the legislation. The operators tried to influence Dutch gamblers by accepting payments from iDEAL.
There has been a massive increase in the demand for online gambling in the past. But with most European countries failing to issue gambling licenses, the operators were forced to set up a base in the few nations that had a regulated market. Prime examples are Malta and the United Kingdom.
A Brief Overview of the Licensing Process
According to Jansen, the application process is tough. Interested candidates must abide by certain consumer protection and crime prevention mandates to qualify. Furthermore, the applicant must submit an organizational diagram and demonstrate a separate gambling capital as a guarantee.
Finances are an important part of the licensing application. Candidates must enforce appropriate safeguards for settling disputes and provide a financial guarantee in the form of a deposit, bank guarantee, or a suretyship. The candidates are also in charge of abiding by the Sanctions Act and the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act.
Furthermore, the operator is in charge of integrating its database with the Central Exclusion Register (CRUKS). They will setup an internal supervision system detailing which officers are tasked with supervision. The KSA also applies certain restrictions on advertising while focusing on addiction prevention measures.