Major operators block Dutch players as licensed market launches

Operators including Entain, Betsson and LeoVegas have begun to block Dutch players as they prepare applications to enter the new licensed market, which launches today.

The Netherlands.- The Dutch regulated online gambling market launches today (October 1), with ten operators licensed to offer igaming. Meanwhile, major operators including Entain, Betsson and LeoVegas have now begun to block Dutch players as they prepare applications for licences.

The Dutch Regulator has confirmed that ten operators had qualified to offer products on the market’s launch today – a mere third of the licence applications it received and only a quarter of the applications that the KSA initially expected to receive.

However, KSA chair René Jansen said he still expected more licensees to apply and that the market wouldn’t reach its final shape until mid-year 2022. The regulator has implemented a cooling-off period for operators that previously target the Dutch market without licences, leaving some major names unable to gain licences yet.

Now Entain, Betsson and LeoVegas have confirmed that they intend to apply for licences and that as a result, they will block all Dutch players from their offerings as of today. The KSA has warned that unlicensed operators that continue to target the Netherlands after today’s launch will face increased fines.

Betsson’s outgoing CEO and president Pontus Lindwall said: “Compliance with laws, rules and ethical standards in the countries in which we operate is a foundation for Betsson.

“We have a strong belief in the Dutch market, and we have a clear ambition to operate under the new Dutch regulatory framework in the future, making us able to yet again offer Dutch customers an outstanding and sustainable customer experience.”

Impact on igaming earnings

Entain said it would submit its application by the end of the year. It said that ceasing Dutch operations from today would impact EBITDA by about £5m per month. Betsson said its decision would affect EBITDA by around SEK25m (€2.4m) per month.

LeoVegas said that in its last quarterly results, the Dutch market accounted for a low-to-mid share of its revenue.

The Dutch Remote Gaming Act came into force on April 1. Applicants must pay a €48,000 application fee.

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KSA online gambling