Now that the new online gambling rules have come into effect in the Netherlands, providers such as Unibet, PokerStars and bwin have announced that they will stop offering their games to Dutch players for the time being.
The companies have not been licensed. This has been required since Friday 1 October to be able to offer online games of chance.
Unibet, provider of sports betting, among other things, said on Thursday that it wanted to remain open for Dutch people. Parent company Kindred said it adhered to the rules of the Dutch Gaming Authority (Ksa) and was therefore entitled to offer the games.
Later, Kindred came back from that decision. In a message to users, Unibet announced that it would temporarily close the service. The company says it is seeking more clarity about the renewed gambling policy. Until then, it is not possible for Dutch people to play on Unibet. People with an account can still log in to, for example, transfer money from the service to their bank account.
Unibet has not yet received a permit, because the Ksa first has to sit out a ‘cooling off period’. Only then can a new permit be applied for.
The cooling-off period is part of a penalty imposed on Unibet in 2019, along with a €470,000 fine. These measures came about because people on Unibet could pay with iDEAL and because there was a Dutch chat service.
Unibet thus targeted the Dutch market without a license, the Ksa ruled.
Pokerstars and bwin were wrong in the past
The companies behind PokerStars and bwin are also in such a cooling-off period, so they can’t get a license yet. In the past they also focused on Dutch customers, while that was not allowed.
For PokerStars , this led to a fine of 400,000 euros in 2019. Bwin was fined 350,000 euros. Entain, the company behind sites such as bwin and Partypoker, has announced that it will be applying for a gambling license later this year. The company hopes to be able to offer its services again in the Netherlands by mid-2022.
This news was published by www.nu.nl