Chaotic start with opening Dutch gambling market

16 October 2021

It made the world press: the opening of the Dutch gambling market and that not only concerned the postponement of the moment that the online operators could go live with a license. There was also a lack of clarity about enforcing the law and what that meant for the large companies that had hitherto also focused on the Netherlands, such as PokerStars, Unibet, and Betsson. René Jansen of the KSA gave an extensive interview about it last week.

Cruks system not reachable due to incorrect input field

The festive opening on October 1 of the online bookmakers and casinos with a license in the Netherlands had to be postponed because it was not possible to make contact with Cruks.

René Jansen explained that a lot of things had to be checked when creating new accounts. The identity of the subscriber and his bank account and then a possible registration with Cruks, based on, among other things, the citizen service number (BSN) number. It went wrong with the latter and therefore it was not possible to use the Cruks. The next day it was still possible to create an account without the problems being solved. Anonymous sources reported that registration was still possible, despite a previous voluntary inclusion in Cruks. René Jansen expects the teething problems to be resolved before 15 October.

What is the status of illegal providers after October 1?

Much to the surprise of many customers, several major companies such as PokerStars, Unibet, and Betsson went black on September 30. Existing customers in the Netherlands can only request their credit, but no longer bet. The reason for this was a letter from the Ministry calling on the KSA to take very strict action if there were also license holders in the market. To this end, the fines were significantly increased as of 1 November. But would it also mean that it would be more difficult for an illegal bookmaker to obtain a license in the Netherlands?

The large foreign operators assumed this, given their action. René Jansen made it clear that from 1 November the KSA will use all means to drive illegal operators from the market. However, it did not say that receiving a fine per se was a reason why a permit would be refused in the coming process. He did not answer to what extent the companies that went black could have remained open until 1 November.