Author: May Thawdar Oo
Ah, the Netherlands; tulips, bicycles, Van Gogh, tolerance for nefarious activities, and an online gambling market that seemingly no one knows much about.
With the Netherlands Gambling Authority (NGA), or Kansspelautoriteit, also known as the KSA, issuing 10 gaming licenses over the last few months, it seems that the iGaming scene in the Netherlands is gearing up for some hot online casino action.
This video will take you through some basic facts that you need to know about these new changes in the Dutch iGaming market.
And throughout this article, we’re going to delve deep into the world of the regulated Dutch iGaming market, informing you of everything you need to know as an affiliate or an online casino operator.
Let’s jump right in.
Online Gambling in the Netherlands – The Vital Statistics
Before we get down and dirty with Dutch iGaming regulations, let’s take a look at some key stats:
- Population of the Netherlands: 17.44 million
- Gambling officially legalized in 2012
- State-owned online casino: Holland Casino
- iGaming market looking to complete by July 2022
- The market size of online casino Netherlands in 2018: €591.7 million
- Market projected to reach in 2024: €1.1 billion
Out With the old, in With the New
So, what’s with the deal with the murky world of the Dutch iGaming market? Even professionals working in iGaming were previously unsure of the legal status of this northwestern country.
With specific country regulations ever-changing, there’s a lot to keep up with and it’s understandably pretty confusing. Whether you’re looking at the market from sports betting in the Netherlands perspective or that of an online casino Netherlands, you need to know your onions.
Former iGaming Legislation in the Netherlands
Holland Casino, the state-owned online operator, previously held a monopoly on the online casino market. All other online casinos that were formerly operating in the Netherlands were doing so illegally, although the authorities turned a blind eye to many online casinos operating in the country, many of which are household names.
In 2016, the dutch treasury wised up to the fact that the country’s coffers were missing out on a projected €175 million in tax revenue per annum. As forward-thinking as the Dutch are, even the director of Holland Casino, Erwin van Lambaart, welcomed the introduction of legislation to allow independent casinos to operate within the country.
What many big-name online casinos would call a “legal gray area”, online gambling regulations in the Netherlands were explicit in the illegality of online casinos operating within the jurisdiction.
New iGaming Legislation in the Netherlands
The 28th of September, 2021 saw the KSA grant 10 licenses to online casino operators ready to launch on the first day of October.
Operators that are currently allowed in the Dutch online gambling market are:
- Play North Ltd.
- Holland Casino
- Nederlandse Loterij (the Dutch lottery operator)
- NSUS Malta
- LiveScore Malta
- TOTO Online BV
With a further 29 casinos applying for licenses, the market is looking to expand quickly, and aggressively. That being said, Unibet and Betfair are two casinos that faced a ban spanning several months for operating within the as yet regulated Dutch iGaming market.
At the same time, Nolimit hold’em idols, PokerStars has made the decision to leave the Dutch market until licensed, along with Entain, Betsson, LeoVegas, and Kindred group.
Localization for the Dutch iGaming Market
Now fully legit, operators are turning towards Dutch-facing marketing, and this, of course, means localization for the Dutch iGaming market. Historically a market where few online casinos dared to tread, it’s now open season for online casinos and those looking to set up sports betting in the Netherlands.
While many believe localization is simply translating English-language copy to Dutch, localization is much more subtle than this widely-held belief. Intimate knowledge of the Netherlands’ online gambling regulations, colloquial and local pop culture references is what’ll make your content sing, and most importantly, convert.
And no machine translation won’t make the cut – and if you want to know why, we’ve explained it thoroughly here in our article “5 Reasons Why Machine Translation Can Cost You Far More Than Humans Ever Will.”
The Dutch Online Gambling Market and Affiliates
Can you be a Dutch online casino affiliate? Here’s a question in the minds of many owners of third-party online casino sites looking to crack the regulated online gambling market in the Netherlands.
It’s time to listen up. The KSA is expected to follow the lead of the UKGC and introduce similarly stringent legislation.
Good advice for affiliate operators that are allowed in the Dutch online gambling market: simply tread carefully and err on the side of caution. While legislation for affiliates hasn’t been completely nailed down, here’s what you can expect:
- 18+ and GambleAware logos presented in footers on each page of your site.
- Avoid images and content that could appeal to those under 18-years of age.
- 15% of online advertising banner space to be dedicated to responsible gambling messages.
- Key terms will need to be clearly displayed under every offer.
The Dutch doors have opened for operators that are allowed in the Dutch online gambling market, and now for affiliate sites too.
The time to act is now.
While many online casinos have been catering to Dutch players for years – some making the move to send out English-language marketing communications in the hope of sidestepping Dutch authorities, this is no longer the case.
The Dutch online casino market is going to soon blossom like the aforementioned tulips. With online casinos withdrawing from the market as the KSA gets serious with issuing fines, it won’t be long before these very same operators will be applying for Dutch gaming licenses.
How did you like May Thawdar Oo’s blog post “Going Dutch: iGaming Regulation in the Netherlands”? Let us know in the comments if you have anything to add, have another content idea for iGaming blog posts, or just want to say “hello.” 🙂