KSA chair reflects on “initial difficulties” of Dutch igaming launch

| By Marese O'Hagan
René Jansen, chair of Dutch regulator de Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has reflected on the first year of the Netherlands' online gaming market, saying the country is moving towards creating a “completely safe environment for people who want to gamble online”.
Dutch igaming

The reflection came in a blog post on the KSA website following the one-year anniversary of legal igaming in the Dutch market. This followed a report on the first year of activity in the country.

The report provided insight into how the market has grown, mostly focusing on the period until 30 July 2022, but with some data from after this time also.

The report found that the channelisation rate in the Netherlands was 85%. It also revealed that the Netherlands igaming market had generated an average of €80m (£74.5m/$82.4m) in gross gaming revenue each month.

As of 30 September 2022 there were 22 licensed online gaming operators in the Netherlands. One year earlier, when the market opened, there were 10 licensed operators. However, the report said this had not increased the amount of people playing.

In it, Jansen said that although there had been challenges, these had provided an opportunity to readjust some of the measures that had been put in place.

“Step by step, we are getting even closer to the desired ultimate goal: a completely safe environment for people who want to gamble online, without any place for illegal providers,” said Jansen. “It is certainly not uncommon that there are initial difficulties when applying a new law or imperfections in the accompanying regulations.

“It is important to make the right adjustments on the basis of the observed facts, whereby the right balance must always be sought.”

Jansen also warned against imposing restrictions deemed as too severe, stating that this could encourage black market gaming.

“Too strict regulation of legal providers can cause illegal providers to be sought out too often,” he said. “The right choices must be made, partly with the help of our reports. This also applies to the gaming authority itself.

“The purpose of these periodic reports is always to provide a factual picture of the early state of affairs and to outline the developments,” continued Jansen. “As is known, it took the Netherlands a long time to legalise online gambling; political views on this were and are divided.

“Ultimately, a political majority was in favour of creating a safe environment for those people who gamble over the internet.”

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