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Newsletter - Netherlands Gambling Authority update: Online licensing and social responsibility

Updated: Sep 2, 2021

Dutch private equity fund Waterland offloads Belgium's largest gambling operator to Superbet

Dutch private equity fund Waterland has sold Napoleon Games to Romanian gambling operator Superbet for an undisclosed fee. Napoleon Games operates two casinos (in Middelkerke and Knokke), 25 gaming arcades, and has a strong online presence in the country.

In 2020, Napoleon Games earned €134m in revenues and realized an EBITDA of €32m, making the operator Belgium's market leader.

Superbet has been expanding rapidly since 2019, when Blackstone, the world's largest private equity group, invested €175m in the Romanian operator.

Waterland still owns Dutch land-based operator JVH gaming.

Gausselmann acquires WestSpiel casinos in Nordrhein-Westfaken

German gaming giant Gauselmann Group has won the bidding to acquire WestSpiel, formerly owned by the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen and holder of the land-based casino monopoly in German's largest federal state. WestSpiel currently operates four casinos in Aachen, Bad Oeynhausen, Dortmund-Hohensyburg, and Duisburg.

The acquisition is particularly noteworthy because, according to Germany's new State Gambling treaty, only the holders of the casino licenses in Germany's federal states will be allowed to offer online bankholder games, such as roulette, blackjack, and baccarat. Other online casino operators will be limited to offering virtual slot machine games. Through the acquisition of WestSpiel, Gauselmann has secured itself a position as one of the foremost online operators in what is potentially Europe's largest gambling market.

Gauselmann also owns six Merkur gaming arcades in the Netherlands.

Kindred's revenue from harmful gambling amounted to 4.3% in Q2

In the second quarter of 2021, Kindred's share of revenue from harmful gambling increased slightly to 4.3%, up from 3.9% in Q1.

Kindred has set an ambition to reach zero percent of revenue from harmful gambling by the end of 2023 and decided in February 2021 to report on its progress on a quarterly basis.

By being transparent with data, the operator hopes to “raise awareness on what needs to be done to prevent high-risk gambling in society.”

“Despite our revenue increasing slightly this quarter, which is an expected fluctuation, we remain dedicated and focused on our journey towards zero," said Henrik Tjärnström, CEO of Kindred Group.

Upcoming events

The following events may be of interest to the GiH community.

  • Registration for the 2021 Gaming in Holland Conference, which will take place 28 September, is now open! Join all the major decision makers in Amsterdam – only three days before the regulated online market opens. Register today:

  • Kindred Group will host the 6th annual Sustainable Gambling Conference on 5 October. The event will take place online and is free to attend.

  • Get ready for the 2021 Gaming in Germany Conference, which has been scheduled for 25 October at the Grand Hyatt Berlin. Save the date!

  • SiGMA Europe has been rescheduled to 16 – 18 November, 2021.

  • The Betting on Sports America conference and expo has been scheduled for 30 November – 2 December, 2021 and will bring together all the major players in the fast-growing North American sports betting industry.

  • The World Gaming Executive Summit is returning live on 6 – 8 December, 2021 at the W Hotel, Barcelona.

  • ICE London and iGB Affiliate London have been postponed to 1 – 3 February, 2022.

Netherlands Gambling Authority update: Online licensing and social responsibility, mandatory player exclusions & illegal lotteries

In a personal blog post, Netherlands Gambling Authority chair René Jansen has clarified that the granting of an online gambling license by the regulator does not automatically mean that, e.g., the applicant's prevention and advertising policies can remain unchanged for the duration of the license period. In other words, the regulator may demand that licensed operators adjust their social responsibility policies if (unforeseen) deficiencies or shortcomings are revealed following implementation. “Regarding this matter, all issued licenses will be accompanied by a disclaimer,” Jansen added.

In related news, the Dutch regulator published its policy rules regarding involuntary registration in CRUKS, the Netherlands’ national player exclusion register. Under certain conditions, third parties, such as family members or licensed operators, may request that individual problem gamblers be added to CRUKS.

Finally, the regulator reported that it has been successful in convincing Facebook to permanently ban an account that was used to organize illegal online lotteries.

Other news

One of Curacao 's seven master license holders, Cyberluck Curacao, has been found to have abused its dominant market by a local judge.

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) welcomes the latest proposals for new EU anti-money laundering rules.

PokerStars, a Flutter International brand, has agreed a deal to become the Formula 1's official betting partner.

Evolution Gaming has reported 100% y-o-y increase in its Q2 operating revenues.

Spain’s gambling regulator DGOJ has opened a consultation on more stringent online gambling rules, which include loss limits for every online casino session and new rules for high-spend players.

Around 20 million Americans are expected to bet on the Tokyo Olympics.

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