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Yes, quite sizeable even. According to various recent studies, currently between 1 million and 1,9 million Dutch regularly gamble online. The vast majority of these players gamble for entertainment and the stakes are often low. There clearly is a demand for safe online gambling and any modern civilisation should also cater for the needs of a large group of the population.
Given the estimated size of this market and the fact that numerous Dutch consumers continue to play unprotected, without proper Dutch regulatory oversight, it is about time that an appropriate modern licensing framework is finally about to be introduced.
Channelisation is the effect in which consumers are persuaded to play with licensed gambling providers, rather than with unlicensed operators. Players are channelled away from illegal offerings from offshore websites towards safe and licensed offers. Consumers that play with licensed operators are protected by the Dutch government and the gambling regulator, which keeps a strict oversight over the licensees.
The success of the Dutch online gambling regulation depends very much on the number of Dutch players who play under a Dutch licence and make use of an offer that is under the supervision and protection of the Dutch government.
Maximum channelisation leads to the best consumer protection.
And finally, optimal channelisation is mostly dependent on balanced and sustainable gambling regulations, which takes the interoperability of the internet economy and consumer demand as a starting point.
Yes, properly licensed online casinos are subject to strict controls that take place on a regular basis. To be eligible for a gaming licence, the unpredictability or randomness of the game must be verified and demonstrated. This is done on the basis of strict certification procedures and audits by internationally recognised research agencies.
Trade association NOGA was set up on November 6, 2013, originally as a foundation with the Dutch name ‘Speel Verantwoord’, which means: play responsibly.
In 2012, the then new Dutch government introduced its coalition agreement ‘Building Bridges’. In it, the coalition made clear that the government intended to modernise the Dutch gambling market. It would privatise the state casino and introduce regional competition on the land based casino market, introduce an open and transparent licensing regime for online gambling and modernise the lottery market.
In response to this, a number of major internationally active and renowned online gambling companies got together and took it upon themselves to create a trade body that would be committed to promoting the introduction of an online licensing system, regulating online gambling in the Netherlands in a safe and responsible manner and to represent the interests of the affiliated gambling operators.
In February 2019, the remote gambling bill enabling the introduction of an open online gambling licensing system was adopted by the Dutch senate and thus the prime goal of the trade body was reached. It was time to reboot the organisation and build it out into a full association with members and a clear set of moral goals, to which the reborn association could publicly be addressed: in August 2020 NOGA was born.