Robin Harrison talks to the local operators and lobbyists involved in the early stages of the Netherlands’ regulated igaming market.
Online gambling regulation in the Netherlands was discussed as far back as 2009 yet only launched in October 2021.
And the operators licensed were different to what the industry had expected. The local incumbents, Nederlandse Loterij (NLO) and Holland Casino, were among them as were international brands such as Bet365 and Tombola.
A host of high-profile names were conspicuous by their absence. The likes of Entain, Betsson, 888 Holdings and Kindred Group pulled out, having passively accepted bets from local consumers.
This led to a “deluge” of players coming to Holland Casino, according to director of digital transformation Jeroen Verkroost.
“We were over the moon but completely understaffed and had to shift from first to fifth gear almost immediately, which came with some teething problems,” Verkroost recalls.
Sam Depoortere, business director for N..