EGBA Welcomes Remote Gambling Act But Issues Channelization Warning

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has praised the implementation of the long-awaited Remote Gambling Act in the Netherlands as a “significant accomplishment,” but channelization alerts have been given.

Potential licence holders will now send applications to the Dutch Gambling Authority, Kansspeelautoriteit, ahead of the market opening on October 1. The April 1 debut, according to the trade association, “brings the Netherlands into line with other EU countries.” 35 licences are expected to be issued by the Ksa.

The EGBA says it’s “pleased that the new regulations focus on achieving a high-level of consumer protection and acknowledge the consumer-centric nature of online online gambling by allowing a broad scope of online gambling products”.

Significant concerns

However, the organisation warns that there are still “significant concerns,” including the goal of reaching 80 percent channelization of the newly controlled industry in three years.

The EGBA indicated that the country’s ambition “should be strengthened to support the effectiveness of the new regulation,” citing the Danish market as an example, where “well over 90 percent of players play on licenced websites.”

Dangers of channelization

Furthermore, the dangers of channelization were recently illustrated by a NOGA-commissioned poll, which showed that as many as 41 percent of Dutch online gamblers do not care or have no choice if the platform they use is approved.

As a result, the company advises the Dutch government to evaluate the current legislation’s success in reaching a higher degree of channelization and take appropriate action.

Maarten Haijer, secretary general of the EGBA said: “We welcome the introduction of online gambling regulation in the Netherlands. Almost all EU countries now have a multi-licensing system for regulating online gambling.

“But the real winner here will be the Dutch player who will now have much greater choice and protection under Dutch laws. In this respect, we still have significant concerns about the channelisation ambitions of the Dutch authorities. For the new legislation to be effective it needs to aim to reach more players than currently foreseen.”