2015 Gaming in Holland Conference Recap 

Thank you all for attending the 2015 Gaming in Holland Conference!

In today’s recap, we will be focusing on some major questions regarding the Dutch iGaming market and Dutch iGaming regulation that were discussed by our expert panelists.

We will keep you posted for more recaps. Next up: Responsible Gaming.


The Dutch iGaming Market


What is the size of the Dutch iGaming market and how is it expected to grow?


David Henwood (H2 Gambling Capital): “The current value of the Dutch offshore interactive betting and gaming market was approximately €232 million in 2014, an 11.5% increase compared to the previous year. In the current year, we are expecting the market to fall back to c. €210-215 million as some leading operators switch off their marketing activities.”


“At €232 million, the 2014 figure represents 18.3% of total Dutch player betting and gaming gross win.”


“We expect the onshore Dutch online market to commence at c. €178 million in 2017 and rise at a CAGR of 17.9% to reach c. €344 million by 2021. At a 20% rate of gross win tax,  c. €270 million of taxation would be generated over the first five years of the scheme – an average of c. €54 million per annum.”

“Around 235 sites licensed in offshore jurisdictions, operated by c. 115 owners offer the opportunity to play in the Dutch language and accept Euros; 11.3% of all licensed site operators actively target the Dutch market. Additionally, a further 1,200 sites accept players from the Netherlands, meaning that c. 40% of all licensed interactive gambling sites continue to accept players from the Netherlands. Together these groups includes nearly 600 licensed operators or c. 57% of the global total.”


What are Dutch online players looking for?

Marja Appelman (Kansspelautoriteit): “We have commissioned an investigation into Dutch iGaming players’ behavior and wishes, which will be made available soon. One striking finding was that Dutch players not only want their operator to be licensed by the Kansspelautoriteit, but they also want it made clearly visible on the operator’s website. Additionally, players want an easy way to see how much time and money they have spent on a website.”


How many licensed operators are expected to enter the Dutch market?

Marja Appelman: “The Kansspelautoriteit has received more than 280 expressions of interest. How many more, I do not exactly know. I simply stopped counting at that point. However, it is obvious that there is not enough room for 280 operators. Still, at this point we do not know how many licensees there are going to be.”

Rutger-Jan Hebben (Speel Verantwoord): “I expect that after a couple of years forty to fifty licensed operators remain.”


Dutch iGaming Regulation

What does the current timeline toward a regulated market look like?

Dennis van Breemen (Ministry of Security and Justice): “It will take at least one and a half years to arrive at a regulated market, i.e., January 2017 at the earliest.”


“As far as secondary legislation is concerned, there will be a public consultation, likely before the end of 2015. Next, there will be a mandatory consultation regarding addiction prevention

and duty of care in the House of Representatives and Senate, followed by a EU notification, and, finally, the advice of the State Council.”


“After the new law has come into force, the licensing process will then take a maximum of six months.”


What are some of your concerns with regard to the proposed regulation?

Rutger-Jan Hebben (Speel Verantwoord): “First of all, it is taking too long. Serious operators have withdrawn advertising. As a result, we see an increasing number of players gravitate toward the so-called ‘cowboys.’”

Sanne Muijser (VAN): “Land-based operators should not be held to exactly identical standards with regard to responsible gaming as online operators. In that regard at least, we are in different markets.”

Dr Alan Littler (Kalff, Katz & Franssen): “Regarding the proposed tax rates, if we ultimately move toward a single rate it should be set to a level that does not handicap operators.”

David Henwood (H2 Gambling Capital): “As far as tax rates are concerned, interactive gambling operators are part of a highly competitive international environment, who tend to operate on thin margins. We have calculated that if the goal is to capture the largest amount of tax, it should not be set higher than 20%. At higher rates, licensed operators will be less able to compete with their unlicensed peers; capture a smaller market share as a result; and thus, pay less taxes.”

Rutger-Jan Hebben: “We should not aim to build the Rolls-Royce of regulation. The perfect is often the enemy of the good.”

Marja Appelman (Kansspelautoriteit): “First and foremost, it has to be a good car, but we should also be able to start it quickly.”

Alan Littler: “Transparency in regulation is important.”