To say the Netherlands have taken a slow and cautious approach to opening up and regulating their online gambling market would be an understatement.
Their Remote Gambling Act (or Wet Kansspelen op Afstand, hereafter “KOA”) was passed by the lower house of Parliament back in 2016. All that was then required was passage though the Senate and implementation. Back then, optimists were pencilling in a regulated market kick off by late 2017.
Fast forward to mid 2021 and we’re still waiting. Some of us have lost interest to be honest.
But there is still movement, albeit glacial. A reminder that the Netherlands do still intend eventually having a regulated online gambling market came today with new of an MOU between the Dutch KSA and UK Gambling Commission. The two authorities plan on sharing information that will help them better regulate their respective markets.
Which gets up back to the question of when the Netherlands will have a regulated market to share information about.
The latest scheduled start date is 1 October 2021. I say latest, because this date has been revised 3 times.
Here’s a short summary of the path to the latest target.
- Lower house passes KOA in 2016
- Senate finally passes KOA at the beginning of 2019
- During the 3 years the KOA is crawling through parliament, a bunch of measures are taken to discourage unlicensed operators from jumping the gun and serving Dutch players.
- The KOA was originally set to come into effect 1 July 2020, with first bets expected 6 months later.
- After a series or revisions to this schedule the KOA comes into force 1 April 2021.
- First bets with licensed are now expected (hoped) from 1 October 2021.
- Between now and October the KSA has said it will award licenses to 35 operators.
So, we are getting close to the final post. But it would still take a brave punter to bet big on a 2021 go live.