Dutch Online Gambling Market Shows Steady Growth
Over the past six months, the legal market for online gambling in the Netherlands has continued to grow. The Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR), which represents the total wagered amount minus the winnings paid out to players, has increased, although slower than in previous periods.
While the number of active player accounts remained relatively stable, this suggests that the market’s growth is beginning to plateau after two years of expansion. These findings are from the fifth monitoring report on online gambling published by the Netherlands Gambling Authority (Kansspelautoriteit or Ksa).
Gross Gaming Revenue and Commitment to Responsible Gaming
The GGR for the period from August 2022 to July 2023 amounted to a total of 1.33 billion euros. This signifies ongoing growth in the market, albeit at a slower pace than previously recorded. From August 2022 to January 2023, the GGR grew by 33 per cent, while from January 2023 to August 2023, it increased by 8 per cent.
René Jansen, Chairman of the Netherlands Gambling Authority, emphasized that the continued growth of the gambling market comes with increased responsibility for operators. The Ksa remains vigilant in ensuring that Dutch players can gamble in a safe environment with a strong focus on addiction prevention and monitoring potentially problematic gambling behaviour. Responsible gaming and player protection are integral components of their oversight.
In July 2023, a total of 826,000 active accounts were used by Dutch players, down from 859,000 six months earlier in January. However, as players can use more than one account, the number of accounts doesn’t directly correlate with the number of players. According to Ksa’s estimates in the latest report, approximately 676,000 Dutch adults engaged in online gambling over the past six months, representing 4.7 percent of the adult population. On average, 417,000 Dutch individuals gambled each month.
The previous monitoring report indicated that players lost an average of €310 per month, based only on months when they actually played. However, this figure didn’t provide a clear picture of players’ long-term losses. The Ksa has now calculated the total long-term losses (in this case, over six months), which average €1,017 per player for the period from January 2023 to July. This is equivalent to approximately €170 per month.
One of the goals when opening the online gambling market was to ensure that at least 8 out of 10 players would choose legal operators, providing a safe environment with strong safeguards for addiction prevention. This objective continues to be met, with 93 percent of players exclusively using legal websites, representing a 1 percent increase compared to the previous six months. Nearly all new players who did not participate in gambling before the market’s opening (98 percent) are now exclusively playing with legal operators.
The monitoring report also examined the participation of young adults. In July 2023, they used 170,000 accounts, accounting for 21 percent of the total number of accounts. This is a slight decrease compared to January when they used 184,000 accounts. Despite having a relatively high number of accounts per player, young adults lose less money per account per month, approximately €59.
The number of registrations in the Central Register of Excluded Persons from Gambling (Cruks) continues to rise. Registered players voluntarily exclude themselves from participating in high-risk gambling activities with all legal operators in the Netherlands, both online and land-based, for a minimum of six months (it can be longer). In August (the reference point for the monitoring report), there were over 48,000 individuals in Cruks, and by the time of the report’s publication in September, this number had exceeded 50,000.
In the previous monitoring report, there was no mention of the ban on indiscriminate advertising for online gambling, but a shift from television to online advertising was noted. With the introduction of the ban on July 1, the number of television advertisements for online gambling has dropped to zero, with only program sponsorship remaining on television, which will continue until July 1, 2024.