Dutch Regulated Market Delayed Till October
The rollout of the Dutch igaming market has been delayed until October this year. The countries long-awaited Remote Gaming Act was originally due to go live in July.
Dutch Minister of Justice and Security Sander Dekker has confirmed that the Remote Gaming Act will not go live as initially planned in July. In a letter to the Dutch parliament, Dekker told MPs that the act’s passage had been delayed by a month from March to April.
Under Dutch law, a six-month grace period must be in place after legislation is passed before the online gambling market can go live. The extra month delay means the earliest that the market can go live in October.
The initial timeframe was that the act would have been passed into law in January, and due to the six-month waiting period, the igaming market would have been open in July. These plans were disrupted when in September 2020 the government instituted a two-month delay, citing the impact of Covid on the Dutch legal system.
On the subject of the delay, Dekker wrote: “This was considered feasible because all parties involved already know a lot about the content of legislation and secondary legislation,”
The Minister of Justice and Security has since acknowledged the need for yet another delay in the process to enable due diligence and time to ensure all the parts of the market are in place to allow it to function correctly.
“It is clear that the public interests of the games of chance policy are best served by a rapid entry into force. Although the implementation is being tackled energetically by all involved, it is now clear that a careful implementation will require a little more time,” Dekker added.
The MP, when confirming the new timeframe, also stated that the Dutch cooling-off period would also be extended but was adamant that this delay would not affect channelisation to the licensed market.
The delay in the process also impacts the Netherlands gambling regulatory authority Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), who have already started live testing of ‘CRUKS’ – which is the Dutch gambling’s national self-exclusion scheme.
CRUKS is managed and controlled by KSA and is a central database that will prevent problem and vulnerable gamblers from registering and playing at both land-based and online gambling sites. It is a condition of receiving a Dutch licence that all operators are fully aware of their conditions in referring players to the CRUKS system.
When the market goes live in October, all operators must be connected directly with CRUKS. A Dutch player must register with their ‘public service code’ (BSN) details with CRUKS, which will generate a ‘CRUKS code’ for first-time bettors. The CRUKS system will use this code to check if the customer has self-excluded from any licenced Dutch operator.
In his letter to the Dutch parliament, Dekker addressed concerns that the introduction of a regulated gambling market would lead to a significant drop in lottery revenue.
He wrote: “The emergence of online gambling may play a role, but it is unlikely that there is a causal relationship between the opening up of the online gambling market and the declines in lottery revenues,”
To further alleviate any concerns, the MP promised an investigation on the matter and committed to delivering a report to the Dutch government in the spring.