Ten companies are allowed to legally offer online games of chance from today (Friday 1 October). They receive a license for this from the Gaming Authority. But what is actually new, because you have been able to gamble online for years? The following are answers to some important questions related to it;
What is changing?
Companies that already offer online gambling games in the Netherlands are doing so illegally. Some of them have also received fines in recent years, but this did not ensure that web gambling in the Netherlands disappeared. On the contrary, online gambling is very popular.
That is why from now on ten companies are legally allowed to offer their games of chance online. They receive a license for this from the Gaming Authority.
That regulator will announce on Wednesday which ten companies these are. Holland Casino and Nederlandse Loterij, among others, have applied for a license.
Companies that do not receive a license are no longer allowed to offer their games of chance in the Netherlands.
Why are the rules changing?
It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of Dutch people gamble hundreds of millions of euros online every year. But that happens in a number of cases with dubious parties.
For example, there are stories that companies suddenly do not pay out profits if players have won a lot of money. It is also not always clear whether all companies do something against gambling addiction and money laundering.
Dutch politicians decided two years ago to open the online gambling market to legal providers as of October 1, 2021. As a result, companies are only allowed to offer online games of chance if they have a license.
To get it, they have to meet many requirements. For example, companies have to do a lot to prevent addictions and to combat money laundering. They also have to pay gambling tax.
What do the new rules mean for players?
Players who now gamble with a legal provider must create an account and identify themselves. For example, companies can check whether someone is of age and whether the player in question is listed in the Central Register of Exclusion of Games of Chance (Cruks).
This includes players who suffer from a gambling addiction. Players can register themselves for this register, but also family members and other acquaintances can do so.
The player can indicate in his account with the gambling company how long he wants to play, how often he wants to play and how much money he wants to bet. If a player exceeds this limit, the games of chance provider must point this out to him, for example with a pop-up.
In addition, companies are not allowed to offer bonuses during a game and are obliged to pay out the winnings to players.
Many players still have credit with a company that does not have a license. According to the Gaming Authority, how the gambling companies deal with this is up to the companies themselves.
Not all unlicensed gambling sites will immediately shut down or ban Dutch players. Some will continue to offer online gambling.
Is the system waterproof?
The Gaming Authority will increase the fines today, on 1 October. Illegal providers with an annual turnover of up to 15 million euros can be fined 600,000 euros. That is now 150,000 euros. Larger illegal companies can be fined up to 4 percent of the turnover.
Whether this ensures that illegal sites no longer stand a chance remains to be seen. There are many websites on which you can gamble as a Dutch player. Most of these websites will not be licensed (for the time being) and are therefore illegal.
In an interview with Het Financieele Dagblad ( FD ), René Jansen, chairman of the Gaming Authority, said that he cannot tackle all illegal providers.
However, the regulator has tightened up the policy. This includes looking at how many Dutch players a particular illegal provider has.
The more Dutch people, the more they come under the attention of the Gaming Authority. In addition, the regulator can fine companies that process payments from illegal sites or promote those sites.
Will anything change at the offline casinos?
Casinos and arcades are now required to ask guests for their ID. This has already happened in a number of places, but from Friday it will be mandatory everywhere. The gambling houses also immediately check whether the guest is in Cruks. In addition, the casinos and arcades must register how often a player comes and address them for suspicious behaviour, for example if he comes very often.