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Betsson withdraws Dutch licence application

| By Robert Fletcher
Betsson has withdrawn its application for an online gambling licence in the Netherlands due to “significant delays” in the approval process.
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The operator has been seeking a licence through its subsidiaries in order to roll out online gambling in the country.

However, in its second quarter report published today (20 July), the operator said it had pulled the application.

Setting out its decision to withdraw, the operator said it had experienced significant delays in the licensing process. It also took into account resource allocation considerations, given the “attractive” project pipeline in other markets.

Betsson added that it could reapply for a Dutch licence in the future.

Two-year Dutch absence 

The operator has been inactive in the Netherlands for almost two years. Betsson pulled out of the country in September 2021, one day before the country’s regulated igaming market launched.

It formed part of a wave of prominent brands withdrawing, following a late policy update clarifying operators that passively accepted Dutch bets were still subject to the cooling-off period.

At the time, Betsson said it hoped its withdrawal would facilitate a future entry to the country’s legal market.

Operators offering igaming without a licence may face disciplinary action from regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA). This could impact any licence applications to operate in the market legally.

Betsson closes Casino Winner

In a further show of support for licensing efforts, Betsson closed its formerly Dutch-facing brand Casino Winner in January 2023.

Betsson operated the brand through its Corona Ltd subsidiary, which controls the Casino Winner and Loyal Casino businesses. The two sites were previously known as Kroon Casino and Oranje Casino properties, respectively.

The operator acquired both properties in 2014 from three entrepreneurs for €130m. At the time, Betsson said this was to take advantage of impending re-regulation.

However, it was a further seven years until the Netherlands regulated online gambling.

Q2 and H1 growth at Betsson

Alongside the Dutch licence withdrawal, Betsson reported record group revenue in its Q2 results.

Group revenue for the three months to 30 June was €236.8m (£205.4m/$265.4m), up 27.1% from €186.3m in Q2 of 2022. This figure also surpassed the previous record of €221.9m set in Q1 this year by 6.7%.

Casino was a highlight in Q2, with revenue reaching a record €165.1m while turnover hit an all-time high of €8.36bn.

Sports betting revenue was 12.7% higher year-on-year at €58.5m, with mobile’s share at 85%. Turnover here also increased 32.4% to €1.31bn. 

Revenue from other products including poker and bingo climbed 8.9% to €2.3m.

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