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The Netherlands Open Regulated Online Gambling Market

- October 12, 2021 By Riley Wilson -

The Netherlands Open Regulated Online Gambling Market

October 1st 2021 marks a turning point for online gambling in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe. The country will finally have its own regulations concerning online gambling and casinos, along with a national licensing authority. The news already sent ripples throughout the industry.

The Birth of the Netherlands Online Gambling Association

To be clear, online gambling has been present in the country for years. However, most such instances were either in a legal grey area or downright illegal. Offshore gambling companies still accepted Dutch players, though this left them unprotected in the eyes of the law. International licenses such as the MGA were relied on for gauging whether casinos are legitimate or not.

In 2021, however, the long-awaited Remote Gambling Act has been enacted after multiple delays. Initial plans to legalize and legislate online gambling have been around for years. The first plans were made back in 2019 but kept getting delayed – mostly due to the COVID19 outbreak. In April 2021, however, the so-called KOA was finally enacted with a 6-month window for enforcement.

Over the past year, the regulative body NOGA has been established, and up to 10 online gambling licenses have been issued.

What This Means for Dutch Players

In the long run, the change can only be good for online casinos in the Netherlands. Rene Jensen, chairman of the newly-formed licensing authority, explained it this way:

“Today, an important step has been taken with the opening of the legal market for online games of chance. Recent years have shown that simply banning online gambling was no longer possible. Legalization and regulation make it easier to protect consumers against abuses.”

This statement perfectly explains how the change will benefit Dutch players. Operators will now have to be registered with Dutch authorities, which translates into direct oversight from government-appointed regulative bodies. Moreover, such business will now be properly regulated and taxed.

However, the move is not without downsides. First of all, this will drastically narrow options for Dutch online casinos. Unless a gambling company has a presence in the Netherlands and a local license, players will not be able to register or use the services. Not all gambling companies will think establishing a Dutch branch and pursuing the proper licensing is worthwhile.

For example, the Mr. Play casino has temporarily stopped accepting Dutch customers.

That said, the selection of available casinos and betting sites will likely increase with time.

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