Up until recently, some European countries only offered land-based gambling options, excluding online poker from the mix. That meant that only unregulated operators were able to provide gambling services to local players. Now, a new law that affects the gambling market in the Netherlands, is set to change this reality.
What is the Remote Gaming Act? How will it affect online poker promotions in the Netherlands? And will it lead to a positive change in the industry? Let's find out the answers to all those questions!
All You Need to Know About Online Casinos in the Netherlands
Gambling at land-based casinos in the Netherlands has been legal for decades, but the government didn't regulate online gambling until this year. But that doesn't mean Dutch players haven't been able to place bets online!
Offshore gambling venues accepted Dutch players for years, but those venues weren't regulated by the government. At first, it seemed as if the government wasn't interested in intervening and changing the way the online poker market worked. But since the number of online gamblers has practically tripled in recent years, authorities couldn't ignore the situation any longer.
Back in 2011, it was estimated that about 200,000 people played online poker in the Netherlands, even though it was illegal at the time. Slowly but surely, online gambling has become more popular, and the recent pandemic drove even more players to place bets online.
That's why the Dutch Gambling Authority came up with the Remote Gaming Act back in 2019, but it took two years for the new legislation to come into effect. Finally, in April 2021, the Remote Gaming Act passed, which left casino operators six months to prepare for upcoming changes. As of October of this year, online poker promotions will be only provided by licensed operators.
Unfortunately, the new law states that operators that provided Dutch players with gambling services two years prior to getting a license will have to enter a cooling-off period. Therefore, popular online poker casinos will have to cease their operations for a while before re-entering the Dutch market.
So far, 10 operators have been issued a license, but even more applied for one back in April. Hopefully, in a few months, additional online casinos will accept local players, allowing them to choose from a variety of exciting offers.
Now, if operators are caught offering gambling services without procuring a license first, the KSA (the Dutch gaming authority) will take disciplinary action. One software provider was already fined more than €500,000 for offering online gambling – even though they didn't specifically target players from the Netherlands. It turns out that the fines can range from €150,000 to €600,000 in most cases. However, companies with an annual turnover of more than €15,000,000 will have higher fines worth 4% of their turnover.
Yes, online poker is finally legal in the Netherlands as of October 2021. It might take popular poker software providers a while to get their licensing sorted, but players are hopeful many new gambling options will become available by the end of the year!
Hopefully, the new regulations will decrease the risk for gambling addiction in the country and allow players to place bets in a safe and secure environment.