After multiple delays due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the Netherlands opened its regulated online gambling market on October 1st 2021. Enactment of the Dutch Remote Gambling Act (KOA) six months prior cleared the way for players in the northwestern European country to play casino games and place sports bets via the internet.

By September 2022, the number of operators granted a license by the country’s gambling regulator, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), had grown from the initial 10 granted to 22, according to the independent administrative body. According to the expectations of online casino website multiple new operators will enter the market later in 2023. A survey released by the KSA in fall 2022, said that it was satisfied that eight out of 10 players were betting exclusively with legal operators, which is in keeping with the objective of the Remote Games of Chance Act. At that time, the goal of an 80 percent channelization rate had in fact been exceeded by approximately five percent.

Could player limits be the new norm?

Companies are increasingly offering pre-commitment tools that set an advanced limit to the amount of money and time to be spent on the game. According to one source, countries such as Belgium, where online gambling has been legal for well over a decade already, found that playing limits have proven effective. In fact, it was determined that setting a weekly gaming limit was such an effective player protection measure that in October 2022, the Council of Ministers further lowered the weekly loss limit from €500 to €200 per week.

The Netherlands could soon follow suit, possibly introducing such tightening measures as early as the end of 2023, according to the Netherlands Online Gambling Association (NOGA).

Risk of grey market rise in online casinos

However, a literature review conducted in 2021, regarding the efficacy of voluntary and mandatory limit-setting, noted that gamblers at higher risk might choose to gamble at online casinos that are “less-regulated or unregulated” if setting limits is mandatory. This same scenario could very well play out the same with Dutch casino players. These types of online casinos don’t have player limits or other requirements such as verifications. And because online casinos compete for players by offering more potentially lucrative bonuses, one might surmise that the higher spend the more attractive the bonuses.