Netherlands Postpone Launch of Online Gambling by 6 Months

Remote Gambling - Kansspelautoriteit

With the rising popularity of online gambling and casinos, more players are turning towards it. It’s hard to compete with the ultimate convenience that playing on your computer or casino mobile device offers. But online gambling often comes with many risks, which is why proper regulations are so important.

The Netherlands were one of the latest countries to recognize the potential of online casinos. The initial announcement that they would allow Dutch online casinos drew the attention of many gamblers! But as we’ve recently learned, Dutch players will have to wait a little while longer before they can play.

Sorting out the kinks

As with every law in existence, there’s a lot of back and forth between different legislators. That can often lead to laws being delayed while all the issues are worked through. And it seems the legalization of online gambling will have to go through the same process, too.

The delay seems to mostly focus on the various suggestions and feedback received on the initial gambling regulations. In particular, secondary gambling regulations have been the subject of many meetings.

Because of that, the country has decided they would be postponing the launch of online gambling by six months. Any prospective will have to wait until July 2021 for the official launch. Said websites would have to seek the approval of the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Dutch Gambling regulator. And the KSA announced they would only start accepting license applications after the RGA has been enacted.

Additional restrictions possible

There have been plenty of discussion in the last few months on the topic of gambling advertisements. Despite calls to ban them outright, that does not seem to be the plan currently. The Netherland’s Justice and Security Minister, Sander Dekker, a total advertisement restriction would be against their plans. Government research shows that a blanket ban would negatively impact their goal of guiding local players to Dutch online casinos.

Mr Dekker did say that the government is considering stricter advertising laws. These advertising restrictions would prevent celebrities with a large following of young people from endorsing online casinos. Another option the Netherlands is considering is to include time-windows as to when exactly casinos and websites can advertise their services.

Another important demand online casinos targeting audiences from the Netherlands have to implement is a functional age-verification system. It’s clear the KSA doesn’t want a repeat of what happened with the state-run Toto Sports, where underage customers managed to trick the system.

Toto Sports eventually noticed the issue, and was forced to drastically upgrade their age-verification systems. Mr Dekker said that prospective operators should ensure they have similar systems in place before the beginning of next year.