Online gambling fans in the Netherlands are set to face further frustration with the announcement of new delays in the launch of online gaming in the country. Reports from the country indicate that the much heralded Remote Gambling Act will take effect from March 1 next year, while the market itself will not open for betting until September 1 2021.
The news was revealed in a letter to the lower house of the Dutch parliament from the Minister for Legal Protection, Sander Dekker. He confirmed that the legislation would now come into force two months later than had originally been planned, while the market will open six months later. Outlining the reasons for the delay, Dekker said that it was necessary for all of the parties involved in the promulgation of the law and the market launch to have enough time to prepare.
The launch of online gambling in the Netherlands was initially planned for January 2020, but November 2019, the national gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) pushed back the date to 1 July, 2021. Yet it became clear in the summer that those plans were at risk, due to the effect of the pandemic. Speaking in June, Dekker had warned that a further delay was possible.
Elaborating on the decision, KSA said that the delay was the result of discussions with a range of stakeholders and that the Minister had consulted widely.
The new gambling rules have already been submitted by the Netherlands government to the European Commission for approval. The rules include a requirement for gambling licensees to create a policy on gambling addiction prevention. They also demand that a process must be put in place that require players to set a credit limit on their account, along with a number of reporting requirements, new record keeping rules and some fresh technical standards. The new regulations will also heavily restrict bonuses and will limit gambling advertising to the 21:00 to 06:00 period. Outside of these hours, it will be illegal for any customer to receive gambling promotions.