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Netherlands gambling market growth slows

| By Zak Thomas-Akoo
Two years on since the launch of the Dutch regulated gambling market in October 2021, the regulator Kanspelautoriteit (KSA) has reported a general slowdown in market growth.
Netherlands gambling

The data, which KSA released in its fifth online gambling monitoring report, showed gross gambling revenue (GGR) grew 8% from January to August 2023, working out as 17% on an annualised basis.

This compares with the 33% growth in Netherlands’ gambling reported in the previous edition.

KSA chairman René Jansen said this levelling off means the “market is developing as expected”.

“The continued growth ensures increasing responsibility among providers,” he said. “The KSA continues to strictly monitor that Dutch players can gamble in a safe market, with sufficient attention to addiction prevention and insight into possible problematic gaming behaviour.”  

Overall, GGR totalled €1.33bn (£1.15bn/ $1.40bn) in the previous 12 months. The report said it expects the recently imposed gambling advertising ban to cause a decline in revenue by attracting fewer players to online offerings.

Player account numbers stagnate

The report also outlined a small decline in the number of active accounts players gambled with in the Netherlands. The total fell 4% from 859,000 in January to 826,000 in July.

It is important to note that, since consumers often use multiple accounts, it should not be taken as an estimate of the total player numbers. KSA estimated that from February to July, 676,000 Dutch customers gambled, with 417,000 playing each month.

These players lost an average of €1,017 in the sixth-month period, working out at €170 per month.

Channelisation remains on target

The percentage of users who played on legal websites stood at 93%, a 1% rise compared to KSA’s previous report. Meanwhile, new players gambled on only legal offerings at a rate of 98%.

KSA’s objective had been for 80% of users to be channelled to legal offerings, a goal that continues to be met.

The number of players signed up to the Dutch self-exclusion platform, the Central Register for the Exclusion of Gambling (CRUKS), has continued to rise over the reporting period.

As of August 2023, 48,000 users have signed up for the service. This represents a 44% increase compared to six months previously.

Netherlands’ gambling advertising ban  

This is the first KSA monitoring report the body has released since the Netherlands opted to ban gambling ads in July 2023.

This prohibited the broadcast of gambling ads through most media channels including television, radio and in print. The ban also extended to advertising in public places and included a phased rollout of sponsorship. Affiliate ads were also subject to new restrictions.

Only targeted advertising would be permitted to continue in some contexts. This comprises ads within streaming platforms, social media and direct mail.

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