The Dutch Gaming Authority (KSA) received 14 applications for licences in the final week of March, before the country’s cooling-off period was set to expire on 1st April, Chairman René Jansen has revealed.
Speaking on Monday, Mr Jansen hypothesised that this high number was “probably related to the end of the leniency period” in the context of the country’s Remote Gambling Act.
The new applications mean that the KSA is currently processing 30 licence applications.
There are currently only 18 regulated online gambling operators in the Netherlands, and this does not yet include industry giants like Kindred, Betsson and Entain, which have applied for licences.
Tougher-than-expected measures were announced in the run up to the Netherlands market launch last October, and according to Mr Jansen, these have proven to be effective at persuading unlicensed operators to offer their products in the region.
Indeed, a number of operators, of operators, including Kindred, LeoVegas, and Entain, have moved to totally withdraw from the region until they receive licences.
In recent months, Mr Jansen reported, 158 unlicensed operators were investigated by the KSA, with 142 of them found to have taken action to prevent Dutch players from accessing their sites.
At the remaining 16, follow up investigations have been launched, though a number of these were already off the air for the Netherlands when the threat of a fine loomed.
Mr Jansen said: “This was exactly the intention of the new law; the legal offer had to push the illegal offer away. With legal providers, the player is assured of a fair game and attention to preventing gambling addiction.”
However, the regulatory leader also expressed concern about the level of gambling advertising seen in the Netherlands, saying he was “disappointed in the fact that the gaming sector has not been able to muster the control that has been requested.”
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