The Netherlands has officially established its online gambling marketplace, which will operate under the ‘KOA’ Remote Gambling Act’s rules and regulations.
The approval of KOA by the Dutch Kamer brings the Netherlands’ first online gaming framework to fruition after a nearly decade-long struggle.
Following ministerial divisions on the market’s final tax arrangements and the rights of state-owned gambling companies, the Dutch regulatory authority – Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) – had to suspend the implementation of an approved regime in 2016.
The Dutch Senate established a timetable for the approval of the KOA Gambling Act in 2019, after three years of study, with the support of Dutch Legal Protections Minister Sander Dekker.
KOA was supposed to open its licencing window on July 1, 2020, and its market launch six months later, according to the original schedule. The timeline had to be rewritten, however, because Dekker insisted on more compliance and technical provisions for the KOA.
Unforeseen As a result of the COVID-19 disruptions, KSA has moved the KOA licence window to 1 April, with the market expected to open on 1 October 2021.
The KSA announced a list of ten operators who have acquired KOA licences yesterday, a result that is far fewer than its predicted amount of 29 approved operators.
The KSA indicated that the majority of applicants failed to achieve its “high-bar” in getting licences for the market’s initial launch when discussing the low number of issued licences.
René Jansen, Chairman of the KSA, reminded incumbents of their responsibilities in protecting Dutch gamblers from damage and promoting “fair and moderated play.”
He said: “The Gaming Authority’s mission is to ‘play safe’, consumers who want to participate in games of chance must be able to do so in a safe environment.”
“The consumer must be assured of fair play. And the provider must pay sufficient attention to the prevention of gambling addiction. Today, with the opening of the legal market for online games of chance, an important step has been taken.
“Recent years have shown that simply banning online gambling was no longer possible. With legalisation and regulation it is better possible to protect consuers against abuses.