Online gambling regulation in the Netherlands: what to expect in 2015?

The Netherlands is preparing to open its online gambling market to global competition in 2015 by allowing lower tax rate of 20% versus today’s 29% that state-run Holland Casino and arcade owners have to pay as well as regulated licensing of online poker and betting for foreign and national providers. Let’s review the fresh stats and some of the expert opinions about the outcomes expected from the regulated online gambling in Holland and what eGaming sectors are likely to bring the best value to the economy.

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iGaming Super Show 2013 / Amsterdam, The Netherlands

As of today, Holland is the 17th largest iGaming market within the European Union (EU) with its 700,000 online players and gross gambling revenue (GGR) varying from €130 million to €250 million (H2 Gambling Capital). The country has a very high Internet penetration rate (over 93%, according to comScore), Dutch people have historically proven to be quick innovative technology adopters, the Dutch banks have enabled and streamlined the growth of mature online banking by providing access to the eWallet technology - these and other factors have contributed to the apps development of a very strong and healthy Dutch ecommerce market. The market is currently assessed at €2.3 billion, according to iGaming Business. However, only 9% of the revenue comes from online gambling (vs the EU average of 12.5%).

eGaming consultant Willem van Oort says betting will become a leading product in a regulated market gaining an estimated 31% of the market share.

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While betting is still a growing segment in the Netherlands, the expert is optimistic about its future. “With Unibet and bwin leading the pack in Holland, the Dutch market will catch up quickly,” says van Oort.

Representing 22% of the Dutch online market, online casino seems to be the second strongest sector to be developed. After online casino games have become regulated in 2015, both local and international players will tag along to claim their piece of the pie. Once regulated, this sector is going to be highly competitive due to a high number of local gaming brands and international brands operating in the Netherlands. As was discussed at the Gaming in Holland conference in June 2013, online poker is expected to account for 12% of the GGR after the market regulation. Online bingo is anticipated to account for another 12% of the GGR, while online lottery is likely to claim 23% of the market share.

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Marin Muyser, CEO at BingoCams, agrees that once the Dutch market gets regulated, it’ll become more competitive. On the other hand, market regulation will create certain entry barriers for new operators, so the new market will be very challenging, too. To survive in a new competitive and challenging market, online gambling companies will have to follow either of these ways (or both): invest a lot of money into marketing and app development some unique selling points (USPs) for their product or become very innovative and have a solid grasp of technology.

Both are expensive and both are likely to pay off. Which way are you going to choose to become a market or niche leader on the regulated Dutch gambling market in 2015 and afterwards?

Sources: DutchNews.nl, H2 Gambling Capital, comScore.com, iGaming Business (issue 80, May/June 2013)

Vik is our Brand Journalist and Head of Online Marketing / PR with 11+ years of international experience in IT B2B. He's also a guest blog contributor to Business2community, SitePoint, Journal of mHealth, Wearable Valley and other IT portals. You can contact him directly on LinkedIn.

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