Ask the experts – Is online gaming set to boom in the Netherlands?

Thomas Dijk | business development manager, Gaming and Trading, Worldpay from FIS

April 27, 2021

For Dutch gamers looking to bet online, choice is limited, as regulations currently restrict online gaming. But this is about to change.

The Dutch online gaming market is set to open in 2021, with the Dutch gambling regulator (KSA) allowing private operators to apply for licenses to provide remote gambling services to end users in the Netherlands. Strict guidelines will be put in place, with penalties for those that do not comply.

What’s the current state of the market?

Despite restrictions, online gambling does happen in the Netherlands. Over 1.2 million adults in the Netherlands reportedly placed a bet in 2019. In fact, online gambling spend per capita is high, with Dutch players outspending Germans on online gambling. There is clearly growing interest and a large existing market.

Online Casino Ground predicts that sports betting will remain the most popular market with Dutch gamblers (excluding lotteries), followed by online casino gaming.

How will people pay?

Online payments through iDEAL (a form of direct bank transfer) are incredibly popular within the Netherlands. By the end of 2020, more than 890 million iDEAL payments had been made. Sixty percent of e-commerce is paid for via bank transfer, and it is possible that gamers will use this method to top up their casino balance, because of its immediacy and familiarity.

E-wallet penetration is also rising in the country, with 8% of e-commerce payments completed with digital or mobile wallets today. The added layer of protection that comes with some e-wallet accounts – some requiring two-step authentication, for example – could be a draw for security-conscious casino betters. The ability to make “real money” bets could also encourage their use.

Gaming operators should look to ensure they are setup to take electronic payments safely and in line with regulation, ensuring player assets are secured.

Rolling the dice

Online gaming could become mainstream in the Netherlands as new opportunities open up for international gaming companies.

If you’re looking to enter this market and compete in a digital-led payments environment, get in touch with Worldpay from FIS. Worldpay is already working with over 200 online gaming operators globally, and our Amsterdam team is well-placed to help. Learn more here.