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KSA Report Signifies Considerable Growth in the Netherlands

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A full-year report for 2022 has been released by the Dutch Gambling Authority, the KSA (de Kansspelautoriteit). The results indicate that the market is performing strongly following the launch of the regulated market in October 2021.

Despite minor hurdles along the way, it appears that the online gambling market in the country is beginning to reap the benefits of the strict legislation that has been imposed by the KSA over the last 18 months.

This is particularly reflected by the fact that the Netherlands still represents an attractive proposition for online gambling operators, with applications for licenses still being submitted.

Difficult Initial Transition for Operators

What the report indicates is that the full regulation of the market still caused a certain amount of problems for the KSA. With a record number of fines issued over the last 18 months to operators who were found to be flouting the law.

It is no secret that the Dutch online gambling market is one of the strictest in the world, which has been reflected by its heavy fine penalty. Indeed, while only nine fines were issued in 2022, these were considerable, with this having amounted to an eye-watering €29,779,000 total.

Meanwhile, in the first quarter of 2023, millions more in fines have been issued to operators by the KSA, as it looks to significantly clamp down on operators who are found to have been deviating from the law.

Recently, UK online gambling giant, bet365 was issued with a €400,000 fine by the KSA, after it was found that the company had directed advertisements and promotions towards young people, while JOI Gaming, which operates the Jacks online casino and sports betting site, was hit with a fine of the same amount for the same action.

Despite this, what the data shows, is that the online gambling market in the Netherlands is experiencing considerable growth, while signs indicate that it could become one of the biggest revenue-generating markets in Europe.

With 24 operators having been issued licenses to operate in the country, even more, applications are expected to be submitted throughout 2023. The KSA estimates that 85 percent of those that gamble online in the country, do so legally, which means that there is still a certain amount of illegal activity to crack down on.

Outlook for 2023 in the Netherlands

Meanwhile, the KSA will be confident that the online gambling industry in the country can continue to grow. Based on the number of applications and the lengths to which operators are willing to go to cross the line, essentially knowing that the fine issued is worth it for the return that they could make.

It seems that the KSA is doing an admirable job seeking out illegal activity from both licensed and unlicensed operators, and its policy appears to be fair. The playbook is to issue one warning, and if there has been no change, then a heavy fine is imposed.

What will be interesting to see over the course of the next few months is whether any operators will be deterred by the legislation and decide not to apply and also whether any in the market decide to withdraw voluntarily.

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