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Entain set for 2022 entry into Dutch online gambling space

Entain is on track for a 2022 entry into the Netherlands’ recently legalised online gambling market, the company announced in a statement.

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The global sports betting and entertainment group intends to submit an application to the Dutch Gaming Authority or Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) later this year in the hopes of securing a legal pathway into the Netherlands’ digital gambling space.

Since July 2019, the company has been operating in compliance with the country’s ‘cooling-off’ period, but policy changes from the nation’s regulator will see Entain cease its offering to Dutch players from 1 October.

As a result of this, the company expects an EBITDA hit of around £5m ($6.7m) per month.

“Entain will submit its Dutch licence application later this year and the group aims to be granted a licence during the first half of 2022, in line with the group’s objective of only operating in domestically regulated markets,” the business said in its statement.

To date, ten companies have been granted licences, including two government-backed firms; TOTO Online and the state-run Holland Casino, as well as the Dutch Janshen-Hahnraths Group, operating under its FPO Nederland brand, and the UK-based Tombola.

These businesses can begin online gambling operations from Friday 1 October, but another two-thirds of applicants face rejection while several companies have yet to apply.

René Jansen, KSA Chairman, has repeatedly stressed the importance of only granting licences to companies which “truly are good enough – who well and truly meet the requirements”.

Any firm looking to operate online gambling services in the Netherlands must meet the regulator’s strict demands and then ensure best practice, particularly in regard to problem gambling prevention.

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