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Mixed feelings at iGB Live conference as iGaming arrives in the Netherlands

Celebrations and commiserations were to be had in equal measure amid the launch of iGaming in the Netherlands.

HollandCasino

With online gambling now live in the nation, many parties are celebrating the opportunity to operate in a new, regulated market.

However, so far only 10 companies have been approved, with a further two-thirds facing rejection while even more have yet to submit an application.

Big names in the industry like Entain and Kindred have been forced to temporarily suspend their operations in the nation pending the approval of their licence applications.

Gambling Insider was at iGB Live to hear the ‘Embracing Regulated iGaming: Netherlands Focus’ conference on Thursday 30 September, to get a sense of the reactions to this major development.

In attendance were industry luminaries Peter-Paul de Goeij, MD at NOGA, Sam Depoortere, the Business Director of Sportsbook-Casino at the Nederlandse Loterij, Jeroen Verkroost, the Director of Digital Transformation at Holland Casino and KSA Chairman René Jansen, with moderation by Justin Franssen of Kalff Katz & Franssen.

Some, like Verkroost, had cause to celebrate, with the state-run Holland Casino having received a licence.

“We’re super excited to have a licence but that doesn’t mean that everything is up-and-running quite yet,” remarked Verkroost.

“So we’re looking forward to having a champagne moment on 1 October in one of our beautiful casinos and at 11 o’clock at night, we’ll finalise the going live by giving the roulette a spin, as an opening for the entire enterprise.”

However, the launch of iGaming was not as welcome news for NOGA, which has been critical of the new advertising code for online gambling.

Despite this, de Goeij remained somewhat optimistic, light-heartedly commenting: “I was going to make a joke that I tried the champagne that I put away years ago, but it had turned sour.”

Jansen, in his role as the boss of the Dutch Gaming Authority, congratulated those businesses which had been granted a licence, but also took the chance to reiterate the regulator’s strict requirements.

“I would first express my deepest respect for all operators who applied for a licence. I have seen from my own staff how intensive the process was. Having all those applications, testing 18 criteria, knowing how detailed and extensive it is,” said Jansen.

“My congratulations to the 10 operators who have been granted a licence because it’s a very significant first step in regulating the Dutch iGaming market.”

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