Cooling-off period Chancellor's Office comes to an end
The Dutch Gaming Authority (KSA) has announced that as of April 1, 2022, the cooling-off period for online casinos will come to an end. For all gambling companies that do not yet have a license for the Dutch market but were in this cooling-off period, this is very good news. They will now be able to apply for a license with these changed rules. Eventually, they too will be able to offer their games on the Dutch market. This concerns a number of big names such as Entain, Kindred Group, LeoVegas, and Betsson.
It took a tremendously long time for the Distance Gaming Act (Koa) to finally come into effect. On a political level, it had been a point of discussion for years. Online Indian casinos have also undergone a revamping of the law. Several times, the effective date of the law was once again pushed forward. But on April 1, 2021, the time had finally come. Online casinos that wanted a Dutch license still had to wait until October 1 before they could welcome real players. In the intervening six months, the KSA had to evaluate all applications for licenses. After this, ten bookmakers and internet casinos were initially granted a license, which came into effect on October 1, 2021.
How does the cooling off period work?
Before the new Koa law took effect, the idea was that online casinos that had previously broken the rules would not be able to claim a license at all. After all, in the past they had illegally offered their games and services to Dutch gamblers. Moreover, they did not pay taxes on their winnings. However, this position soon changed. However, it was maintained that a distinction had to be made between gambling sites that had abided by the rules in the past. And so the cooling-off period was created for this purpose.
Bookmakers who had previously violated the rules had to wait longer before they could apply for a license than competitors who had not done so. The reason for changing this position has to do with the so-called channeling rate. This is the desire that eventually at least 8 out of 10 Dutch online gamblers will wager at licensed legal online casinos. If there was no cooperation with some of the largest bookmakers, this will be difficult to achieve.
This is going to change
Due to a motion, online casinos that had acted wrongly in the past were not allowed to target the Dutch market for two years. During that time, they had to prove that they had changed their ways. This period started on July 1, 2019 and would thus last until July 1, 2021. Because the effective date of the new law was postponed once again, it was extended by an additional nine months. Thus, all bookmakers and gambling sites that had complied still received an advantage.
This period of 2 years and nine months will now come to an end on April 1, 2022. This means that it is now finally possible for all online casinos that were previously excluded to apply for a license. For gamblers, this is great, because they now have even more choice than before. A number of large casino sites will finally be licensed. Both they and Dutch gambling enthusiasts will be happy about this.
For which bookmakers is this relevant?
There are a number of bookmakers who have offered their services to Dutch players in the past, when this was not allowed at all. When the gaming authority found out about this, sanctions were logically imposed. These consisted of substantial fines and the so-called "cooling down period". Because the Dutch online gambling market finally opened up on October 1, 2021, these bookmakers and casinos could not obtain a license at this time and therefore had to wait.
This affects some of the biggest names out there in the online gambling world, such as Entain's Bwin and Betsson casino. This was also the case for Unibet and PokerStars. At this useful reference, you can learn more about who else these innovations relate to. They had to wait longer and missed the boat in the beginning. This may now change, and the relief will be great for these bookmakers.