September 22, 2021 3 min read


The Netherlands Tighten Rules Against Unlicensed Operators

The government of the Netherlands is doubling down on its efforts against unlicensed online betting operators in the country. This was announced by the Dutch Minister of Legal Protection, Sander Dekker, who warned that the government will now seek out to take action against the unlicensed bookmakers who had not been persecuted for a while.

The Ditch Regulatory Bodies Tighten the Rules

Under the Netherlands’ new regulations, bookmakers who don’t abide by the country’s restrictions and rules will be unable to provide services in the country. That also includes gambling sites with foreign domains that still offer bets in the Netherlands. Dekker announced that if such operators do not take down their gambling offerings willingly, the law will have to take action.

Dekker explained that all these actions are with the intention of redirecting Dutch players towards legal gambling options. He wants to prevent unlicensed gambling operators from affecting the regulated gambling market and ruining the efforts of establishing a healthy betting ecosystem.

“I have requested that the KSA (Netherlands’ gambling regulator) establish principles for a step-by-step intensification of enforcement in its policy,” Dekker added.

Breaking the Rules May Result in a Ban from the Country

According to the suggested rules, the KSA would issue warnings to operators who break the local rules. Those who continue taking bets illegally risk being banned from the country. This has already happened with Unibet and Betfair who had been taking bets without a license and are currently banned from applying for one until April 2022.

The KSA has promised that most of the reliable operators who apply for a license and haven’t broken the country’s rules on gambling recently are highly likely to be approved. An operator might not be eligible for a license if it has provided gambling offerings in the Netherlands in the past 32 months through a Dutch-based site. A Dutch site is considered any site that operates under a .nl domain, is written in Dutch, either partially or fully, and/or has been advertised in the Netherlands through any form of media.

The KSA explained that currently there are no strict rules on how many offenses may be passable and how many offenses will end up in a license application getting revoked. However, it is to be expected that numerous breakings of the country’s rules will increase the chance of an operator being denied access to the Netherlands. 

The Netherlands’ efforts against unregulated gambling are more than evident. Some days ago the KSA and the Commissariaat voor de Media (CdvM) agreed to work together by exchanging complaints and signals about potentially harmful advertisements pertaining to the gambling sector.


Yasmin is an iGaming and gaming journalist with over 10 years of writing about various publications. Her experience spans the entirety of iGaming, traditional sports, as well as online poker. She is well-versed in every aspect of online gaming and her wealth of knowledge provides additional substance to our coverage.

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