The potential effect of the Dutch gambling law on the online casino market

After years of debating and preparing, the new Dutch gambling law has been put into place. From a legislative perspective, April 1 of 2021 marked a historical moment. For Dutch gamblers, a new era starts on October 1, when online casinos can open their digital doors. In the meantime, many online casinos prepare their shift from the current illegal status to a legal one – just because online casinos weren’t operating within the country’s framework didn’t mean there wasn’t a Dutch gambling market.

In fact, available statistics on the current Dutch gambling market show that these legislative changes might have a considerable effect on the online casino market in Europe. Dutch players are willing to spend, have a history of playing the lottery, and already take up a considerable slice of the pie in a restricted and handicapped market.

Gambling law

The new Dutch gambling law, the Remote Gambling Act, brings in a number of changes. As the name implies, it regulates and allows for remote gambling. In the current situation, only online sports betting is allowed through the state lottery – promotions and live betting are not allowed.

Online casinos are not allowed to provide their services to the Dutch public. Due to limited resources, the Dutch Gaming Authority only focused on flagrant offenses, such as offering an online casino in the Dutch language. Dutch players were otherwise unrestricted to gamble online.

This means the new law significantly lowers the threshold for players. Although the Dutch are generally comfortable with the English language, casino games offered in Dutch will appeal to a much wider public. Aside from setting up these Dutch live games and technical infrastructure, online casinos applying for a Dutch gambling license need to implement a centralized player database to combat problem gambling.

For Dutch players, October 1 2021 marks the first day of their legal online casino visits.

Effect on the online casino market

To casinos, the Dutch market presents a great opportunity. Dutch players already outspend French and German players – add promotions and a lower threshold to the mix, and the prospects are great indeed. Sports betting has already been on the rise in the Netherlands and adding live betting and other mechanisms will only drive further growth. Brick and mortar casino visits have been rising in the last few years (pre-pandemic) and show a continued interest in casinos.

The potential of the Dutch market is underlined by the nearly 30 applications it has already received. Considering that most casinos are run by a select group of larger companies, these 30 applications for a Dutch gambling license in practice translate to more online casinos.

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