7 June 2019

Netherlands Remote Gambling Act and License Application

Online gambling licenses in the Netherlands in 2020

The Dutch Gambling Authority (KSA) has announced that the Remote Gambling Act will very likely come into force on July 1, 2020. The opening up of the Dutch online gaming market is expected on January 1, 2021. This means that as from July 1, 2020, potential online gaming providers can apply for a license for online gaming in The Netherlands. The chairman of the Dutch gambling authority, René Jansen, has announced this on the Gaming in Holland conference in Amsterdam this week.

Give notice of interest to Dutch Gambling Authority

In the meantime, the Dutch gambling authority invites potential licensees for the online gaming permit to file a notice with the gaming authority in the form “I would like to become a KOA licenseholder”, before June 21. This is a non-binding message to the Dutch gaming authority to verify the interest of providers. This enables the KSA to prepare organization of the handling of license requests.

Risk for offering online gaming without license

At the moment, offering online gaming is still not allowed in the Netherlands. That means that gaming providers that offer services focused on the Dutch market are acting illegally and may be subject to enforcement by the gaming authority. Please note, that any provider that has been fined or has been actively targeting the Dutch market in a timeframe of 24 months before the Remote Gambling Act comes into force, will be subject to a blackout period of two years if they wish to apply for a license (the exact starting date of this timeframe is still uncertain). For example, targeting may be the case by using the Dutch language, offering Dutch payment methods, advertising aimed at the Dutch market, et cetera.

Regulation for online Dutch gaming license under construction

Furthermore, the gaming authority is working on the duty of care guideline (“Leidraad zorgplicht”). This guideline will give further details regarding duties and responsibilities of online gaming providers. A draft will soon be published by the Dutch gaming authority. The secondary Dutch regulation is still prepared. This regulation gives a lot of details regarding online gaming and all connected rules and regulations, including any games of chance, which are not allowed. Please check out this blog for further information on that.

Integrity screening for Dutch gaming license

Future licensees have to meet strict criteria set by the authority. Amongst others, an integrity test (“Bibob-toets”) will be part of the license procedure. Our lawfirm assist client that are subject ot business integrity screening. This probity test in the Netherlands is also done for other license, like cannabis, reals estate, and big events. This means that the complete organization of the provider will be checked, including directors, shareholders, financial information, funding, and all other relations of the company.

We will keep you updated on the developments regarding the Remote Gambling Act in The Netherlands. Please, do not hesitate to contact our partner gaming law Mark van Weeren.