iGaming in the Netherlands delayed (again)

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Online gambling in the Netherlands has suffered a further delay, with the Remote Gambling Act not coming into force before March 2021.

The legislation had been planned to come into effect from January, with the market going live six months later.

Due to the delay, the Netherlands’ regulated online gambling market is now expected to open in September 2021 – as opposed to July.

Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker had previously warned that additional delays could happen, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More time to prepare 

When discussing the reason for the delay in a letter to the Dutch parliament’s lower house, Dekker said that “this creates more space for all parties involved to prepare for the new law coming into effect”.

The implementation of the Remote Gambling Act was initially delayed in November 2019, before being pushed back again during the height of the pandemic. And now, proceedings have been delayed by a further two months.

What will regulated online gambling in the Netherlands look like?

All operators that wish to serve the Dutch market will be required to wipe their pre-existing player databases, a measure which has been designed to create a level playing field. In addition to this, advertising must neither set unrealistic expectations about gambling nor downplay the dangers of doing so excessively.

Ads must also not be targeted at vulnerable groups. Moreover, advertising will be banned from 6am to 9pm every day. During this time, players will not be able to receive promotions either.

It will be mandatory for players to set maximum credit limits on their accounts, while operators are also required to develop a responsible gambling strategy.

Some concerned with the act proposed reducing the maximum operator licence from five years to three, though Dekker himself doesn’t think this is a good idea.