Dutch Online Gambling Sector to See Steady Growth Says KSA’s Latest Market Analysis

The Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Dutch gaming authority, recently unveiled its thorough analysis regarding the current state and future trajectory of online gambling within the Netherlands in its detailed Spring 2024 report. Offering data-driven forecasts, the report is crafted on the basis of insights provided by the country’s licensed gambling operators.

According to the KSA’s account of the 2023 market, an unprecedented gross gaming revenue of €1.39 billion was generated, an increase of 28% compared to the previous year’s €1.08 billion. Noting a more tepid growth in the latter half of 2023—with a modest 1% rise—the report also indicates that online casino entertainment dominated the market, raking in 77% of the total revenue.

The year also saw a significant uptick in gambler engagement, with total player accounts skyrocketing from 970,000 in December 2022 up to 1.1 million by the end of December 2023. It’s estimated that during this period, around 726,000 players engaged in legal gambling activities. This statistic suggests that about 5% of adults in the Netherlands were active on gambling platforms during the second half of the year. In average monthly terms, approximately 448,000 players were active on these platforms.

The report sheds light on a comparison with the broader European market, noting that it is expanding at a quicker rate than the Netherlands. As per H2 Gambling Capital’s projections, the European Union (EU) online gambling market is set to grow by 12% in 2024, while the average annual growth for the Dutch sector is pegged at around 8% over the coming five years. However, the KSA cautiously advises that growth could be hampered by regulatory constraints and other unforeseen circumstances.

Player behavior underwent a slight change, with individuals on average visiting 2.9 different gambling websites per month, a minute increase from the first half of 2023’s average of 2.6. Over half of the gambling population limited their activity to a single platform, whereas 19% ventured onto four or more websites.

Financial analysis reveals that players lost an average of €958 over the last six months, which translates to €160 per month—showing a modest decrease from the first half of 2023’s monthly average loss of €170.

The young adult demographic (aged 18-23), considered more vulnerable, also experienced substantial gambling interaction, accounting for €135 million or 9.8% of the year’s aggregated turnover. Despite this, their individual gambling losses were lower, averaging €52 per month—less than older demographics.

July 1, 2023 marked a shift in the Dutch gambling landscape with the new untargeted advertising ban, outlawing mass advertising across radio, television, outdoor locations, and print media, with sports sponsorships also falling under this prohibition. Nevertheless, existing sponsorship agreements were granted a transitional period. This change led to a marked decrease in website visits from individuals not previously classified as gamblers, although the KSA believes the market’s overall size remains unaffected.

In aligning with the goals set during the market regulation overhaul in 2021, the authority intended for at least 80% of the gambling market to engage with regulated operators within three years. Current estimates of player behavior and web traffic channelisation now reach a 90% rate, indicating a successful transition.

The year also recorded a steady climb in the number of individuals listed in the Central Register for the Exclusion of Gambling (Cruks), with figures amounting to 63,543 registrants by January 2024.

In a final highlight, the KSA acknowledged an increase in the number of licence holders since the market’s opening in October 2021. Originally commencing with ten licences—including key industry names such as Holland Casino and Bet365—the authority by the end of 2023’s second half had granted 22 permits. Now with multiple brands operating under these permits, the Dutch online gambling landscape boasts 25 regulated casino websites, seven for poker and bingo, 17 sportsbooks, and nine dedicated horse-racing platforms, signifying the market’s broad dynamism and the KSA’s effort in striking a balance between regulation and growth.

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