Bet365, Tombola and LiveScore cleared to launch Dutch KOA market

Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) – the Netherlands gambling regulatory authority – has named the 10 operators granted licences to participate in the KOA online gambling regime that will formally launch on 1 October.

As anticipated, KOA licences have been granted to the domestic trio of state-owned casino operator Holland Casino, ToTo Online, the digital unit of Dutch lottery Nederlandse Loterij, and Dutch arcade group FPO Netherlands.

Malta-based NSUS Limited, the operating firm of GG Poker, has received its KOA approval alongside Sliema compatriot PlayNorth Limited, operator of the Rocket Casino and PikaKasino brands.

KOA’s launch will feature a UK presence, with bet365’s Hillside Media and Sunderland online bingo operator Tombola having secured licences.

Meanwhile, first incumbents to the regulated Dutch sports betting marketplace will include LiveScore Group, the operating firm VirginBet and Italian operator BetEnt BV. The list is completed by Belgian bingo operator Bingoal BV.

KSA Chairman René Jansen disclosed yesterday that several applicants had withdrawn their KOA applications, choosing not to observe KSA ‘cooling-off’ requirements that must be obeyed by operators awaiting licences.

At the start of the window, KSA had expected to grant 29 KOA licences, but its final update revealed that a number of applicants had failed to ‘match its high bar’ on KOA technicalities and compliance orders.

KSA will evaluate and process its next tranche of KOA licences by April 2022. However, the regulator stated that its focus had shifted to applying the ‘most intensive monitoring of the marketplace’ during its initial launch phase, protecting Dutch consumers from engaging with unlicensed operators regardless of their pending KOA status.  

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