While the expectation among many was that the Law Koa (Wet Kansspelen Op Afstand) would come into force in July 2020, Minister for Legal Protection Dekker, who is responsible for gaming policy, has announced the target date. No sooner than January 1, 2021 the law will enter into force.
Minister Dekker writes this in a letter to the House of Representatives. In this letter he not only informs the parliament of the probable effective date (it is, after all, a target date), but also about the status of the motions that the Senate adopted on February 19, 2019 simultaneously with the law. In simple language, this law ensures that playing at an online casino will be completely legal and reliable from now on.
From the moment the Remote Gaming Act takes effect, interested parties can submit official applications for an online gaming license to the Gaming Authority. To date, more than 150 companies have already expressed an interest in possibly doing so. It is expected that as soon as all conditions have been announced, a number of companies will drop out. Meanwhile, the Dutch Gambling Authority has announced that applying for a license will cost €45,000. This money is also lost if the license is not approved.
Two important points
There are two important points that the Law Koa has. First of all, the law legalizes online gambling, and does so under very strict conditions. But also, the law is going to have extra sharp monitoring whether the addiction prevention requirements are met. These apply to providers of online games of chance, but also to gaming casinos and arcades.
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Wait and see if the target date will be met
For the time being it is a target date and it remains to be seen whether it will actually be met. For the casinos that were fined, this first postponement is not really disadvantageous. The two-year waiting period they may have to wait in order to qualify for a license will now be almost over when the legalization takes effect. After all, the target date is January 1, 2021. The planning is that six months later the market for online gambling can open.
For the good guys in the class who will be immediately eligible for a license, such as Holland Casino, this delay is a disappointment. Otherwise they could have already built a nice database of players because competitors still had to serve their sentences.