After the Dutch government passed legislation declaring online gambling legal, it was just a matter of time before unlicensed actors were evicted from the lucrative gambling market, including PokerStars.

Well, Pokerstars and other actors have been caught in the crossfire. They have been ordered to exit the dutch market by Nov. 1. Failure to which they will face financial penalties. The exit order was communicated by the Dutch regulator, KSA. The regulator also ordered all unlicensed gambling operators to stop accepting new Dutch gamblers from Oct 1, 2021.


KSA tightens the noose on unlicensed gambling operators

The outgoing minister for legal protection, Sander Dekker, directed the KSA to act against all unlicensed operators still operating in the country. Additionally, the regulatory body has been granted authority to impose fines on gambling operators who continue to offer services without a valid license. The base fines have been preemptively raised from €150,000 to €600,000 effective Nov. 1, 2021.

The base fines are, however, only applicable to operators with turnover below €15 million each year.  Operators with turnover exceeding €15 million will be subject to a 4% fine on their turnover.

“I consider it important and obvious that providers who do not yet have a license terminate all their offer for Dutch players in the short term.” Dekker


PokerStars not eligible for a license

Alongside Bwin and Unibet, Pokerstars is one of the largest unlicensed gambling operators in the Netherlands.

The remote Gambling Act stipulates the existing unlicensed operators must go through a cooling-off period before they are eligible to re-enter the Dutch gambling market. Therefore, PokerStars will not be eligible for a license until the cooling-off period lapses. Fortunately, unlike Nevada which imposed a 10-year cooling-off period, KSA only imposed a 6-months period.


Licensed Operators to be announced

The application process has been open since April 1. According to Cardschat, over 28 gambling operators had already expressed interest as of April 19. As well as submitting their applications, prospective gambling operators were required to pay a €48,000 fee. The KSA announced that they are looking forward to receiving roughly 40 more applications but they will award a limited number of licenses.

The regulatory body will start approving applications starting Oct 1, 2021, and a full list of licensed operators is expected on November 2021.




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