Authorities in the Netherlands have recently announced that they have issued a total of 10 gaming permits to companies who want to operate online casino games and slots games, like Slotsrank.com. The licences were issued by the Netherlands Gaming Authority at the end of September.
In 2019 the country passed an Act on Remote Gambling, but it has taken since then to issue the licences. This is a delay that has been due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which prevented the regulatory meetings from taking place. The licences gave the recipients the power to start operating from 1 October.
There were dozens of bids received from various companies for the licences and each paid an application fee of €48,000. It is expected that more licences for online casinos and slots will be issued over the next few weeks.
There has been something of a monopoly in legalized casinos in the Netherlands but this relates to a company that owns land-based casinos and at this time they do not intend to move to an online presence. The focus in this round of licences focused on online operators. This development means that the Netherlands has become one of the last countries to make online casinos and slots legal.
The country decided to offer licences in order to reduce the number of unregulated gambling sites that were offering services to Netherlands residents. All those who do not have licences now have to stop operations. Companies that do stop will be able to apply for an online gaming permit, but there is a wait of two years before they can apply to operate online slots and other games.
It is estimated that 800,000 Netherlands residents spend time on online gambling sites and until now they have been using platforms that are unapproved. The revenue from their custom is around €500 million. This money will now be diverted to companies that are operating legally within the country.
The government in the Netherlands is now asking the public to only use one of the casinos that has been issued with a licence for casino games and online slots. To get a licence the companies needed to meet a range of conditions. One of these was to have safeguards that allowed time and spending limits.
The Netherlands Gaming Authority has stated that it believes that many people had no idea that it was illegal to gamble this way and without the supervisory authority to legalise the sites, it was unable to take action.
Companies that have a licence will have to check the self-exclusion list so it can make sure customers have not previously indicated that they do not want to gamble. This includes standard casino games and online slots. The authority is also stating that all licenced casinos need to make use of the available technology to identify any problems with gambling behaviour from customers.
This development has been welcomed by companies who are keen to ensure that they are operating within the law in the Netherlands and members of the public who want the peace of mind of knowing that the industry is regulated.