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Entain to Restrict Access to all Dutch Customers as the Market Reopens
Entain announced its plans to stay and apply for a license to operate in the newly-regulated Dutch market. The operator stated it stopped offering iGaming services to Dutch players since the market re-opened on October 1.
Torn Between Staying or Leaving
October 1 was the date set by the regulator to re-open the Dutch iGaming market. And the KSA went ahead to announce ten licensees already. But the list didn’t feature three big names. Entain, Kindred Group, and the Betsson Group. These companies offered their services in the country without licenses. And now they are torn between staying or leaving after the regulatory changes.
The Remote Gambling Act of 2019 stated unlicensed operators in the country must observe a cooling-off period. This was for at least six months before rejoining the legal market. Betsson and Entain announced their plans to follow this rule. As a result, they also announced they won’t offer gambling services to Dutch customers starting October 1.
But Kindred decided to take a different route. Reports indicated the company won’t block customers in the country despite the laws coming into effect. Instead, the operator said it already complies with the regulations by not targeting customers from the Netherlands.
Companies Give Explanations Behind their Decisions
Entain released a statement last week expressing the hope of receiving a license to operate in the Dutch market later in the first half of 2022. The operator is available in the Netherlands through its bwin brand.
It later stated the company’s exit from the market is in line with its goal of generating 100% of its revenue from regulated jurisdictions as 2023 closes. Exiting the market will result in a £5m per month impact on its EBITDA.
Betsson also expressed hope that its decision to exit the market will result in better treatment after it applies for an operator license in six months. The operator went on to state the exit will result in a loss of SEK25 million per month. This is from the Q4 of 2021.
Kindred also operates in the Dutch gambling market through the popular Unibet brand. This operator opted not to bar Dutch customers. Reports indicate the company believes its operations are in line with the Dutch prioritization regulations.
These regulations prevent online gambling operators from targeting Dutch customers. It also bans the use of the .NL extension. Kindred continues to accept customers from this jurisdiction. But it also announced it will apply for a license to operate in the new market during the fourth quarter.
First Licensees Revealed by the KSA
As the newly-regulated market goes live, the Dutch gambling regulator revealed the first licensees. Some of them include NSUS Malta Limited, Tombola International Malta Plc, LiveScore Malta Limited, and FPO Netherlands BV.
The number may be low but the regulator expects more operators to join the list in due time. It also stated it received 29 license applications in total. But it said a big chunk of these applicants failed to meet the required standards.