The chairman of the Netherlands gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has predicted that the country’s igaming market will open on January 1, 2021.
René Jansen revealed earlier today (June 5) that he expects the Remote Gambling Act, which finally passed the country’s Senate in February after years in limbo, will come into force from July 1, 2020.
From that date the regulator will be able to start processing licence applications, Jansen said, with a view to opening the market from January 2021.
Work still needs to be done before the Act can come into force, with the Ministry of Security and Justice currently drafting the technical regulations that will underpin the legislation.
Once this has been finalised, the KSA will be able to draft licence conditions. The regulator launched a public consultation on consumer protection controls in March this year, as part of this process.
To avoid the regulator being hit by a deluge of applications, the KSA has invited interested operators to register their interest on its website. This has been done to give it a better idea of how many applications it can expect once the licensing window opens.
“It is important for the KSA to know how many licence applications we can expect in the future,” Jansen explained. “This information will allow us to organise the licensing process properly. A smooth process is not only in our own interest but also in the interest of the companies that are going to apply for a licence.”
He admitted that the licensing process was likely to put the regulator under pressure.
“However, we are doing everything in our power to get it done,” he added. “If we cannot manage with our permanent staff, we will hire external staff.”
In related news, the director of Dutch igaming operator association Speel Verantwoord Rutger-Jan Hebben has stepped down from his role.
Hebben has served as Speel Verantwoord’s director since it was established in 2014, but has decided to step down to focus on other business interests following the passage of the Remote Gaming Act.
“[I] am pleased that all our efforts have led to a transparent online gambling licensing system in the Netherlands,” Hebben said. “This is in the interest of both consumers and market parties.
“Now that this milestone has been reached, I will focus on my own company, but I look back with satisfaction on what we have achieved.”
He will be replaced by former Zeal Networks and Lottovate director Peter-Paul de Goeij, who takes up his role from July 1.
“The regulation of online games of chance has come a lot closer, and the companies affiliated with Speel Verantwoord are grateful to Rutger-Jan for his efforts in achieving this,” Speel Verantwoord chairman Eric Konings said. “We wish him every success in the future, and we are happy to have found a good successor in Peter-Paul de Goeij.”