The days when the Netherlands was a gray market for the online casino industry are over. With the new regulations coming into force at the end of 2021, several international players have jumped at the chance to compete with former state monopoly holder Holland Casino for the lucrative Dutch market. As we approach the anniversary of the first Dutch online casino licenses, let’s take a look at what the regulations actually entail.
What is Ksa?
The Ksa or Kansspelautoriteit is the governing body in the Netherlands for all types of gambling, whether land-based or remote. It is an independent administrative body that monitors compliance with Dutch regulations regarding safe, legal, responsible and fair gaming.
He lists them as his main objectives.
- Protect consumers.
- Prevention of gambling addiction
- Fight against illegality and crime.
In addition to these three objectives, the Ksa has four statutory duties:
- Regulate the gambling market
- Promoting addiction prevention
- Provide education and information
In the Netherlands, the Ksa issues licenses to all legal gambling providers. And it is illegal to offer games of chance without the license of the online casino. This also applies to remote operators, including operators offering slots, platforms to play live casinoonline bookmakers, bingo sites, online lotteries, etc.
What are the new regulations for online casinos?
On February 20, 2019, an official change took place in the Gambling Act, Gambling Tax Act and several other gambling laws in the Netherlands. In short, domestic and foreign providers can legally organize remote gambling in the Netherlands. However, they must apply for a remote gambling license, for which they must submit an application to the Kansspelautoriteit. Of course, they must adhere to the “Wet Kansspelen op Afstand” or “KOA” (Remote Gambling Law). Although the law came into effect in 2019, it took until October 2021 before we actually legal dutch online casinos. The first being the state-owned Holland Casino. The law includes measures for gambling addiction, the regulation of fair gaming (such as fair ways to win at online slot machines) as well as the taxation of gambling winnings.
The following games fall under KOA law:
- Slot machines such as slot machines
- Live casino games such as roulette, blackjack or baccarat
- sports betting
Payment options and restrictions
The law also largely hampers the ability of Dutch players to play at online casino sites without a Dutch license. In particular, financial service providers are ordered to block payments between players and now “illegal” providers.
In other words, it has become difficult for Dutch players to continue playing at foreign online casinos. For example, popular casino payment providers Neteller and Skrill have been blocked from making casino transfers to the Netherlands.
As has always been the case, players can only participate in online casino games or sports betting from the age of 18. In addition to this, it is expected that casino bonuses or other promotions may only be available from the age of 24.
To confirm age and identity, the licensee may request a copy of an identity document, although identity can often be confirmed by transfer via iDEAL, Klarna or Trustly.
To advertise an online casino or sports betting in the Netherlands, certain conditions must be met. These include
- No models under 25 years old
- Clearly understandable bonuses
- Advertising not directed at vulnerable groups
- No commercials on TV between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.
There are of course a few other conditions, which you can read in detail on the Ksa site itself.
Here, of course, we come to one of the most controversial taxes, the gambling tax. Although it is debatable whether a tax on casino winnings is fair, in any case Dutch players will have to pay a tax on casino or sports betting winnings, provided the net monthly winnings are €449 or more. The rate is set at 29%. Net winnings are calculated on wagers and monthly winnings and tax is automatically withheld by the gaming provider.
Who has a casino license?
The Dutch market has already been flooded with a multitude of Dutch, Belgian and international iGaming companies. In particular, former state monopoly holder and land-based giant Holland Casino was the first to acquire a license. Meanwhile, local gambling hall operator Jack’s Casino, and was soon to follow. Toto, which previously offered toto betting exclusively in the Netherlands, now also offers an online bookmaker.
Belgian operators Bingoal and Circus already had a Dutch customer base before the new regulations and quickly capitalized on the new license.
International players bet365, Kansino (of Play North Limited), 777.nl and GGPoker were also among the first to receive a license.
Other online casino licensees include Betcity.nl, 711, Flash Casino and French operator Zbet.
More online casino licensees are on the way!
Not all online casinos looking for a license for the Dutch market have already received it. Operators could apply for a license from April 1, 2021, unless the applicant had a cooling period imposed by the Ksa. This cooling period was imposed on operators who had “broken the rules”, i.e. offered games without a Dutch license.
While many operators received the license on October 1, 2021 and were able to enter the market, not all license applicants received it at that time. From this first group, some were rejected by the Ksa and some are still in the running, but need to make adjustments.
The names of this latter group are not public, although many assume they include Polder Casino and Tonybet.
In April 2022, the Ksa authorized a second “group” of potential suppliers to apply for a license. This marked the end of their recharge period. This group included, for example, Unibet, which has now received a license and has been on the market since July 2022. Other names that we can expect soon are the Dutch familiars Kroon Casino and Oranje Casino, operated by Betsson, as well as industry giants LeoVegas, PokerStars, 888 and William Hill.