The Dutch gambling market generated a collective €2.05bn (£1.84bn/$2.31bn) in revenue in 2018, marking the first time that the national sector surpassed the €2bn landmark.
Figures from Dutch governmental institution Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (CBS) show revenue – sales, minus prizes won and taxes – has grown 11% from €1.85bn in 2015, the last time market data was published. The 2018 figure also represents a €50m year-on-year increase.
Revenue growth has been boosted by a steady increase in consumer spend, with players in the Netherlands wagering a total of €2.5bn in 2018, up 12% from 2015.
CBS has said that higher revenue has also led to an increase in tax income from gambling, with the sector contributing a total of €529m in tax last year, up from €476m in 2015.
Job prospects are also seemingly on the rise in the gambling market, with a total of 8,300 people employed in the sector at the end of 2017. Although this is up by 11% on 2014, the figure is down from 8,900 employees at the end of 2010. Employment figures for 2018 are yet to be published.
Growth within the Dutch gambling sector comes despite the country, at present, only permitting legal land-based gaming activities.
Citing figures from 2015 – again the most recent available – the CBS said there was still an issue with illegal gambling in the country. In 2015, illegal gambling generated €170m in revenue, which at the time was repsonsible for 9% of total market revenue.
However, with the Dutch Senate in February this year passing the Netherlands’ Remote Gambling Act, this opens the door to regulated online gambling and potentially further market growth.
Subject to approval from the Ministry of Justice and Security, the law will come into force from July 1, 2020, after which Dutch regulator the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) will draw up licence conditions, with the hope of launching the market on January 1, 2021.
Last month, the KSA revealed that 183 companies have expressed an interest in applying for an igaming licence. Operators were able to register their interest between June 5-21, as the regulator sought to gauge how many applications it can expect.