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Kindred Group Granted License to Operate in Holland

Arguably one market in the European online gambling industry that has inspired considerable intrigue over the last 12 months has been the Netherlands, which only recently regulated online gambling, with this going live in October.

Initially granting just 10 licenses to operators, after implementing strict measures following a major overhaul, it meant that any interested operators had to undergo a rigorous approval process.

Even one of the biggest online gambling operator groups, Entain, is still waiting for a license after applying in November. It remains to be seen which of their brands they want it for.

This, though, did not stop rival group Kindred from declaring its interest in the Dutch online gambling market, with its application successfully approved as of early June.

Strategic Growth Underway for Kindred Group

Over the last few years, the Swedish behemoth, which has a number of online gambling brands under its purview, has experienced steady expansion across many different territories.

As such, the Dutch market was swiftly identified as one that has significant growth potential over the next decade, with Henrik Tjarnstrom, Chief Executive Officer of Kindred Group, highlighting the firm's plans:

"The Netherlands is a large and important European market and one that we look forward to operating in with a local license. We have been advocating local license schemes for the past decade and are thrilled that our newly awarded license in the Netherlands will allow us to deepen and develop our involvement in the Dutch society, as well as actively contribute to a fair and sustainable gambling market. As part of our long-term ambitions and strategy, we are eager to provide a safe, secure, and entertaining gambling experience for Dutch customers."

Meanwhile, Chief Commercial Officer, Anne-Japp Nijders, commented: "We are fully committed to establishing Kindred's role as a responsible, trustworthy, and valuable gambling operator on the Dutch market through our flagship brand Unibet. Our corporate purpose to `transform gambling by being a trusted source of entertainment that contributes positively to society' sits at the heart of our `Unibet Impact' programme, which is solely dedicated to fostering a safer and more responsible online gambling industry. We want to convey entertainment to the Dutch society and are very keen on bringing the joy and excitement of sports to everyone."

What Is the Potential of the Dutch Market?

It has been estimated that the Dutch market could be one of the biggest in Europe eventually. However, the last nine months have experienced a number of teething problems, with the Dutch market size being smaller than expected.

Advertising laws especially have proven to be a particular hindrance in terms of what gambling operators in the country are allowed to do - offers and promotions are carefully monitored by the KSA (Kansspelautoriteit), which is the regulator that was set up prior to the official online gambling launch.

The strategy so far for the regulator in terms of onboarding new operators has been more of a cautious approach which is why only a handful of online gambling companies have secured licenses so far.

Kindred Group's entry via its Unibet brand provides a great opportunity for a well-established operator to potentially become one of the leading brands in the country, with only really bet365 considered a rival in terms of size.

Should Entain be granted a license, particularly for all of its brands, this will see a considerable transition for the Dutch market and could lead to it becoming one of the biggest in Europe.

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