Betsson and LeoVegas halt Dutch operations as they pursue licences

| By Marese O'Hagan
Online gaming operators Betsson and LeoVegas have announced that they will cease operating in the Netherlands, ahead of the country's igaming market opening tomorrow (October 1).
Greentube goes live in the Neterlands with Holland Casino

The announcements come after Entain vowed to cease operating in the Netherlands earlier today.

Both operators expressed that their decisions to withdraw operations in the Netherlands were in the hope of receiving a Dutch igaming licence once the market opens.

If operators are caught offering gaming services without a licence, Dutch regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) will take disciplinary action. The KSA fined Tipico €531,250 last week after it had offered gambling in the Netherlands, despite not specifically targeting customers from the country.

Betsson attributed its decision to the fact that the new Remote Gambling Act says operators who do not target the Dutch market, but offer services to Dutch players, should cease operations in the country.

“Compliance with laws, rules and ethical standards in the countries in which we operate is a foundation for Betsson,” Pontus Lindwall, outgoing CEO and president of Betsson.

“We have a strong belief in the Dutch market, and we have a clear ambition to operate under the new Dutch regulatory framework in the future, making us able to yet again offer Dutch customers an outstanding and sustainable customer experience.”

LeoVegas stated that in recent quarterly results, the Netherlands market had accounted for a low-to-mid share of its revenue.

Likewise, Betsson revealed that the decision to cease operations in the Netherlands could affect its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization by around SEK25.0m (£2.1m/€2.4m) per month.

The KOA was enacted on April 1 after almost a year of delays that followed the initial proposed date of July 1 2020. The market was to open six months later.

Yesterday (29 September) the KSA named the ten operators that had received the first batch of igaming licences in the Netherlands.

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