Entain to block all Dutch customers ahead of licence application

| By Marese O'Hagan
Entain has announced its intent to apply for a Dutch gaming licence, stating that it will cease all igaming offerings to Dutch players when the market opens tomorrow (1 October).
netherlands

In a statement, Entain confirmed that it had complied with the “cooling off” period imposed by Dutch gaming regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) in conjunction with the Dutch Remote Gambling Act (KOA), and would submit its application for a Dutch gaming licence by the end of 2021.

Entain also stated that it would cease its services for players tomorrow (October 1), the day the market reopens. The operator added that this would impact earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization by around £5.0m per month.

The KOA came into effect on April 1, after the date was delayed several times. It was initially supposed to implemented on 1 July 2020, with the market to open six months later.

Yesterday (29 September) the KSA revealed the identities of 10 operators who had been issued licences to offer online gambling in the new market. Among the names were Tombola, Bet365 and Holland Casino.

Those who have not received a licence will face action from the KSA if they continue to accept Dutch customers. The regulator already fined Tipico for taking Dutch customers last week, dismissing Tipico’s arguments that it did not target the Netherlands as “irrelevant”.

The KSA had expected to receive up to 40 applications for licences and projected granting 35. However, the regulator announced in April that it had received 28.

All of the 28 applicants had paid the stipulated €48,000 (£41,578/$57,787) fee along with their applications.

Earlier this month, KSA released advertising guidance for licensees who will operate in the market from October 1.

In order to offer services in the new market, licensees must adhere to rules outlined in the KOA – including that they must check players against the new ‘Cruks’ self-exclusion tool.

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