The launch of online gaming in the Netherlands has been delayed again, with the Remote Gambling Act now set to come into effect from 1 March, 2021, and the market to open for business on 1 September.
In a letter to the lower house of the Dutch parliament, Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker confirmed that the legislation would come into force two months later than planned, with the market then opening six months later.
“This creates more space for all parties involved to prepare for the new law coming into effect,” Dekker explained.
Online gambling in the Netherlands was initially scheduled to launch on 1 January, 2021, but in November 2019, gambling regulator the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) pushed back the launch date to 1 July, 2021.
In June, Dekker warned of further delays, as preparations to launch were disrupted by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
“I do not rule out the possibility of a slight delay,” he said at the time. “I see some room for manoeuvre there.”
The KSA said this delay followed discussions with a variety of stakeholders.
“The Minister has decided on this timetable after [discussions] with all those involved, including the KSA,” the regulator said.
The Dutch government has notified elements of its online gambling regulation to the European Commission for approval.
These include a requirement for licensees to create a policy on addiction prevention, while players must set maximum credit allowed on their account, as well as details of technical standards, record-holding and reporting requirements for licensees.
Under the new regulations, bonuses will be restricted and players and operators will be barred from advertising gambling-related services between 6am and 9pm, while players may also not receive promotions in this time.