Distance Gaming Act enters into force March 1, 2021

In the Netherlands people have been gambling online for years. However, the law does not regulate online gambling. As a result, Dutch enthusiasts play at foreign gambling sites.

But fortunately for Dutch gamblers, this is going to change next year. In February 2019, the Remote Gaming Act (KOA Act) was passed by the Senate. As a result, online gambling will be regulated by law in the future.

Number of times the KOA law has been postponed

When the law was passed, it meant that a lot of peripheral matters still had to be regulated by the government. The expectation was that the law would come into force somewhere around the summer of 2020.

But this soon proved to be too ambitious and Sander Dekker, Minister for Legal Protection, announced that it would be postponed by six months.

This year the whole world is suffering from the Covid-19 virus and this virus is also causing a slight delay. The Remote Gaming Act will now, it is hoped, come into effect on March 1, 2021. That is two months later than the originally intended date of January 1, 2021.

This gives all parties concerned a little more time to prepare for the arrival of this new law that will regulate the online provision of games of chance in the Netherlands.

Enforcement by the Kansspelautoriteit will be easier

This new KOA Act immediately gives the Games of Chance Authority a more solid handle to enforce. In the current law on gambling online gambling is not included at all. At the time of the creation of this law, there was no Internet.

We are referring here in particular to the tightened prevention policy for landbased providers, the tightened restrictions on advertising and the obligation to pay into the addiction prevention fund.

After the Act comes into force, the government must issue the licenses within 6 months. So that means that the Dutch market for online gambling will open on September 1, 2021.

That is also the date that the new online providers must be affiliated with the Central Register Exclusion Games of Chance (CRUKS).

Number of licenses not yet clear

How many providers will actually receive a license from Minister Dekker is still not clear. Companies that want to qualify must make an official application. Such an application costs €45,000. For that amount, the government will fully assess the applicant. They also look at whether this provider can be licensed. It goes without saying that the BiBob law is also around the corner here. Also, one of the conditions is that each company with a license must place €800,000 in a third-party account as a guarantee for possible fines for violations.

As it stands, there are about 150 parties that will be applying. The expectation is that there will be between 80 and 100 licenses. The Dutch Gaming Authority will share further information on its website with which parties can prepare for the implementation of the law.