Since online gambling has been legalized in the Netherlands, the market has become a lot more open. Many people have taken advantage of this and entered the world. By legalizing online casinos, the casinos have also become safer. However, there were also opposing voices and there were people who found it disappointing. For example, big name companies did not receive a license.
The cooling-off period applied until April 1, 2022. This period was introduced when the Senate agreed to the legalization. Sanctions had to be imposed on companies that had already made a lot of money from online illegal gambling in the past. Legalization was of course not new, it took years of preparation. Companies also knew this was coming. Years ago, companies could submit permit applications.
More new games
It is advantageous for consumers that online gambling has been legalized. This means more new companies, services and games. It was not entirely clear which companies would or would not receive a permit. The old and new licenses were re-examined by the gaming authority. Expectations were high, as “old” bookmakers and casinos might return to the market.
The Netherlands has a remarkably large share of the iGaming market in Europe. The Netherlands is very late in legalizing the online gambling market. In Europe as one of the last countries. Of course, there has been a lot of online gambling in recent years, only illegally. The government was not very happy with this, as a lot of tax revenue was lost. After much discussion, the legalization was agreed to. However, some strict conditions were established. Including a time limit at a Casino Online, and that anonymous gambling is no longer possible.
Is the market changing for consumers?
The new regulations of April 1, 2022 only have advantages for consumers. New providers have been added and the range of games has also expanded considerably. It is still too early to say whether this will also change the market. Unibet, for example, already had a large share of the Dutch market. Obtaining a license can be harmful to the current legalized casinos and bookmakers. It is difficult to predict whether people will continue gambling or switch to a legal business.
For the treasury, legalizing online gambling is a big fat for the treasury. Thanks to the measure, no less than 1 billion euros will be generated from the gambling tax, which is double compared to previous years. The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) has produced a report on this. Since the autumn of 2021, Dutch people have been allowed to gamble on casino websites with a license. This market has grown rapidly since then. Not only did online gambling generate more income, the end of the corona crisis also led to a significant increase in income from gambling taxes.
Politics is losing patience with the gambling market
After the online gambling market was legalized two years ago, there are already calls in politics to tackle the gambling market firmly. Mirjam Bikker of the Christian Union believes that legalizing the online gambling market has been a complete failure. The question is how many more gambling addicts need to be added before legalization is reversed. For vulnerable people and young people, legalization has had a very different effect. The duty of care that online gambling companies have is not fulfilled. If this is not improved, then it is necessary to consider whether the idea was really that good.
There is only one group that is losing with this measure, these are the gamblers. The loss per account is 143 euros. It is estimated that there are 365,000 gamblers every month. The 2023 figures for the first months also show growth in this regard. Unfortunately, the number of gambling addicts has increased further due to the measures taken. The cause can also be found in the many advertisements that could be seen and heard on radio and television, which were later also banned by the government.
Weekends and nights are a problem
Gaming behavior must be monitored from minute to minute, but companies are not able to do this. Nights and weekends are a big problem; to save costs, companies do not employ people who can intervene at those times. This gives players free rein, and someone can lose a lot of money in a short time. Often only “changes in gaming behavior” are monitored. This allows players to bet significant amounts for a longer period of time without emerging as a risk.
With the current rules it is inevitable that the number of gambling addicts will increase. But players who are not addicted also bet more money than they can afford. The matter is already on the agenda in the House of Representatives and people are very critical of it. This will undoubtedly continue after the elections. Than are coming maybe new rules for the gambling market for long time.