Across Europe online casino gaming is more popular than ever. Membership levels are up, prize levels are up, player interaction is at near all time highs and gaming blogs are full of recommendations of popular online casinos. With all this positivity surrounding the market, it is no surprise to see nation after nation looking to get a piece of the action. In fact, even unregulated European markets are positing positive results with views to full-regulation in the future. One nation that definitely fits into that description is the Netherlands. The Dutch are seeing the green shoots of progress emerge when it comes to online casino gaming.
The Netherlands based online casino market intrigues many analysts, largely as while unregulated at this point, they are still showing increasingly positive signs. Considered a fertile test market to some, the country’s gaming governing body has posted results that show 7.6% market growth, with more to come in the eyes of Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) before 2015 ends. In terms of financials, gross gambling revenues are set to hit record highs or near €300 million. Considering the amount of players playing online the figure has caught many off guard. The current population of the Netherlands is 16.9 million, with only 437,000 actually gambling online. Many wonder if such engagement was able to generate nearly €300 million, what an increase could do.
Men Remain Active
Looking at who’s playing and when in more detail, it seems that men still rule the roost in such regard. Men make up the most prominent gender in the world of online casino gaming, with women placing more focus on online bingo than anything else. As activity levels have grown, so have the calls to monitor addiction levels in the market too, but even that has returned positive news. The KSA’s report shows that only 5.2% were showing signs of addiction, a figure that is much lower than elsewhere within Europe at this time.
Calls for Regulation
Given all the positivity emerging from the Netherlands, along with the praise that the market is receiving on gambling portals throughout Europe, calls for regulation have got louder. However, while it seems that many feel regulation could improve the Netherlands’s online casino gaming market to no end, the actual Gaming Bill is currently held up in Dutch Government. It seems that arguments surrounding tax rates are rumbling on, with the gap between the 20% tax for online-based casino operators and the 29% tax for land-based casino operators causing a large amount of contention. It seems that until such issue is resolved the arguments surrounding future regulation will rumble on. Should the matter be worked out, the KSA has targeted a fully regulated online rollout by 2020.
What is evident is that online casino gaming fans have championed the cause of regulation in the Netherlands, with there being clear interest in it. Leading online casinos have also spoke very positively about the Dutch market, in particular Platinum Play Casino, Roxy Palace, and Mr Green have chimed up to say that they see real untapped potential in the Netherlands. Time will tell if regulation is ever approved in the Netherlands, but if it is, runaway success could be a legitimate outcome.