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KSA: KOA growth stable in 2023 as focus turns to loss limit protections

Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Gambling Authority of the Netherlands, has stated that it has tracked over 1.1 million gambling accounts participating in the regulated KOA market.

The figure is the headline finding of the KSA’s ‘monitoring factsheet’ on Dutch online gambling trends under the mandate of the Remote Gambling Act (KOA Act) – the framework that legalised Dutch online gambling as of October 2021.

Monitoring KOA developments, KSA observes: “The number of accounts played has increased to 1.1 million in 2023. A year earlier, there were 970 thousand. Since players can use more than one account, the number of accounts does not directly indicate the actual number of players.”

In light of duplicate accounts, KSA estimates that on average the KOA market registers 448,000 players per month. However, in the second half of 2023, KSA recorded that 726,000 players were active with legal providers – a figure which reflects that 5% of Dutch adults have gambled online.

Data for 2023 detailed that Gross Gaming Results (stakes minus prizes paid) of the KOA market had increased to €1.39bn from €1.08bn recorded in 2022.

However, GSR trends detail that KOA growth rates stabilised in 2023 compared to the previous year when the marketplace was launched.

On expenditure, Dutch players lost an average of €958 over the last six months of 2023, which breaks down to about €160 per month, a slight decrease from €170 per month in the first half of the year.

Of concern, young adults aged 18 to 23 were reported to account for 22% of KOA accounts, a figure noted as disproportionate when compared to the average of other age groups, which is at 9.5%. The demographic loses less money on average (€52 per month) compared to those aged 24 and above.

KSA informs that it has witnessed no impact on the KOA market since the enforcement of the ban on untargeted gambling advertising, which came into effect in July 2023. The only recognisable impact is operators witnessing a significant decrease in website traffic.

Of significance, the KOA market maintains its channelisation success rate of above 90%, in which KSA details that 90% of players are using legal platforms, attributed largely to new players entering the market.

The KSA enters a period of transition as Chairman Rene Jansen ends his tenure on 1 July 2024, and will be replaced by Michel Groothuizen.

Meanwhile, the Dutch government continues to review the laws of the KOA market, where the Dutch ministers have submitted amendments for evaluation by Franc Weerwind, Minister of Legal Protections.

The latest phase of KOA revisions saw the Dutch government launch a consultation on applying monthly player loss limits on player accounts that spend over €350, and a further €150 loss limit on player accounts under the age of 24 – as endorsed by Minister Weerwind.

However, Dutch reformists have cited the loss limit as ‘ineffective protection,’ stating that the KOA market should feature a universal loss limit imposed on all 27 KOA-licensed operators without the possibility of offering customers an increase.

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