KSA projects 15% annual growth for Dutch market

KSA projects 15% annual growth for Dutch market

The Netherlands online gambling space will continue to grow at a rapid pace according to the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the country’s national gambling regulator.

Latest KSA figures from its fourth monitoring report show a gross gaming result (BSR) – aka net gaming revenue (NGR) – of €90m for January.

Based on this NGR valuation, the KSA projects that the Dutch online gambling market will continue to grow at a pace of between 13% and 15% per year. Rene Jansen: KSA to ‘dig a spade deeper’ on duty-of-care probe

René Jansen, KSA Chair, said: ‘This fourth monitoring report shows a growth in the market for online games of chance, as we previously predicted. This is a development that requires all of our attention.”

Perhaps of greatest significance, however – especially given looming regulatory changes in the Netherlands on advertising – is the KSA’s assertion that player protection targets have been met.

When the Dutch online market launched 18 months ago on 1 October 2021 under the KOA Act, the KSA set an objective of ensuring that ‘eight out of 10’ players would bet only with licensed operators.

According to the latest report, 92% of pre-KOA Dutch gambling customers were playing solely with legal websites, whilst 98% of new bettors who had not wagered before the market’s launch only played on legal sites.

The Netherlands has therefore ‘amply achieved’ its channelisation targets, one of the key objectives of the KOA Act, the KSA asserts – however, Jansen added that bookmakers must not let up on social responsibility requirements.

“Providers of games of chance must take up their duty of care firmly and intervene in a timely manner to protect players in order to realise that safe environment,” Jansen continued.

Earlier in the year, the KSA extended its investigation into observation of duty of care standards by Dutch licence holders, having identified several differences across the policies of various firms.

These disparities, including on handling of losses, playing time and bet numbers, and in how and when operators conduct investigations, were uncovered at a time when the Netherlands is amping up restrictions on advertising.

Jansen concluded: “Our investigation into the implementation of the duty of care this spring shows that the duty of care is interpreted in a very broad and varied way.

“It is therefore very important that we, together with providers, look at a clearer interpretation that protects players in the best possible way. Compliance with the duty of care is also a priority in our supervision.’

As mentioned above, Dutch online gambling faces a clampdown on advertising later this year, due to come into force on 1 July. Although ads via TV-on-demand and on the internet can continue with some heavy restrictions, other methods will be completely banned.

Notably, licence holders will no longer be able to market their products on television, in print or in public spaces, and a ban on sports sponsorships will follow one year later. 

This is largely due to Dutch politicians, led by Legal Protections Minister Franc Weerwind, voicing concerns about the impact online gambling advertising is having on young people.

“Although spending on television advertisements for online gambling has been increasing since the market opened, the number of television advertisements is falling,” the KSA’s report observed.

“The number of online advertisements, on the other hand, has increased sharply in recent months; So there is a shift from TV to online.”

However, the KSA did note that ahead of the advertising ban, the picture regarding young players in the Netherlands – generally defined as those between 18 and 24 years old – is looking positive.

As it stands, the monitoring report shows around 183,000 accounts held by young people, with consumers having around 2.6 accounts per person, and although player numbers are up, the loss per month is ‘much lower than the average loss of €54’.

Finally, the report also addressed recent figures from the CRUKS self-exclusion scheme, observing that the number of people registered with the service is ‘steadily increasing’, with almost 40,000 signed up as of April.

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