Bet365 Successful in Netherlands Licence Bid
Bet365 is among only ten operators who successfully obtained a licence to operate in the Netherlands. The Netherlands Gambling Authority received an initial 29 applications, but only one in three were successful. Kindred, LeoVegas and Betsson are believed to be interested in securing licences in the future.
Bet365, along with tombola, GGPoker and LiveScore, have all been granted a licence to operate in the Netherlands from the Netherlands Gambling Authority.
The four international operators were named among ten companies awarded a licence in the Netherlands Gambling Authority first wave for the newly regulated market that went live on 1 October.
Other successful operators include Malta-headquartered Play North Limited and Belgian firm Bingoal.
Four local companies, TOTO Online BV, FPO Netherlands BV, Holland Casino and Betent, also received approval from the regulator.
Operators who were successful were able to offer services to Dutch consumers from Friday, however, with the regulator’s late announcement of the companies who had been granted a licence, it may take operators some time to take advantage and start marketing campaigns.
While it isn’t a surprise to see Stoke-on-Trent’s bet365 granted a licence, some of the biggest names in the industry such as Entain, Flutter Entertainment, William Hill, 888, Kindred Group, LeoVegas and Betsson Group missed out on selection.
Last week the Netherlands Gambling Authority acknowledged that 29 applicants had completed the process to operate in the country but confirmed that only ten would be successful. The regulator citing high standards as the reason.
KSA chairman René Jansen said: “High requirements are imposed on a licence, including in the field of addiction prevention and consumer protection and the KSA tests this rigorously,”
While 29 completed their application, it is believed that more than 125 operators expressed their desire to operate in the region. The regulator has opened a dedicated licensing assessment hub to deal with the demand and is expected to issue more licences in the short term.
In the build up to the new licencing regime in the country, many operators fell foul of strict rules introduced by the regulator to ensure consumers went from the unlicensed to licenced regime. Operators who did not comply to the rules found themselves sanctioned by the KSA and warned they could be refused a licence in the future.
Under the “prioritisation criteria”, which has been in place for over three years, the regulator had the power to investigate and fine companies which they believed may be illegally targeting Dutch players.
The KSA used certain indicators, such as;
- Offering gambling products with a domain name that ended with .NL
- Using promotional material which included Dutch symbols such as clogs, windmills or tulips.
- Offering customer support in Dutch.
- Using Dutch on websites.
- Accepting the iDEAL payment method.
Several high-profile companies have been fined by the regulator for breeches of these rules.
A recent example is German sports betting giant Tipico, who was ordered to pay a €531,250 penalty. The company described the fine as “disproportionately high compared to the other providers”. Tipico, however, said they accepted the fine with many industry insiders believing their acceptance was due to their desire to acquire a licence in the near future.
Kindred Entertainment are also believed to be interested in having a licence to operate in the region. The company said on Monday that they would still accept Dutch players, but performed a U-turn by Tuesday after their share price fell 8% overnight with investors worried about regulator ramifications.