International online gambling operators are tripping over each other in a rush to express their interest in obtaining licenses to serve the newly opened Dutch market. There’s definitely and Old West land rush vibe to the whole story, but will cow
According to a report on CalvinAyre.com, 79 international companies have taken up Kansspeautoriteit (KSA), the Dutch gambling regulator, on its request to file a form expressing interest in applying for a license. It’s worth noting that this is not actually the process for getting a license, it’s just to let the government know that you’d like a license at some point along the way. The actual licensing process won’t start until July 1, 2020 and no one will be legally gambling online in Holland until January 1, 2021.
One aspect of Dutch gambling liberalization that’s likely to heat up in a big way over the next few months is the issue of “cowboy” operators. Cowboys is the Dutch expression for online gambling operators who served their market illegally. (These folks are normally referred to as rogue operators in the rest of the world, but cowboy is definitely more fun to say.)
At a recent speaking event Erwin van Lambaart, the CEO of Holland Casino spoke out against cowboys saying that he hoped the KSA would keep out companies that have changed their names and payment methods in efforts to outwit the regulatory authority. Holland Casino, however, is well established in the existing Dutch market and should compete well against international operators, like the 79 who’ve already expressed interest in the market.