New Dutch gambling law
At the beginning of February this year, the first chamber agreed to an amendment to the Dutch Gambling Act, which would make online gambling legal in the Netherlands. The first license applications are expected to be processed mid-2020, after which the first legal online casinos will open their doors to the Dutch public in early 2021.
183 companies have shown interest in a Dutch gambling license
It was expected that around 60 to 70 companies would register, according to the Dutch Gaming Authority. This prediction was based on the extremely strict conditions and high licensing costs (45,000 euros one-off + 800,000 euros deposit) in combination with the experience gained of similar legislative changes in neighboring countries such as Belgium and Sweden.
The final number of registrations, however, was many times higher. No fewer than 183 companies want to be eligible for a gambling license in the Netherlands. And although an official list of names has not yet been released, the following market parties are almost certainly interested:
Already legally active in the Netherlands:
- Goede Doelen Loterijen
- Holland Casino
- Jack’s Casino
- JVH Gaming
- Nederlandse Loterij
- RTL Nederland
- Gaming Innovation Group
- Leo Vegas
- William Hill
Will Holland Casino Online become market leader?
All eyes are focussed on Holland Casino. This state owned casino has had a monopoly position in the Netherlands in the last forty years regarding the supply of casino games. With fourteen live establishments (legal casinos), an active player base with millions of Dutch customers and a strong brand, they already have a big head start compared to the competition.
However, they do not have any experience with online gambling. The big question is whether they can live up to the big expectations with the “Holland Casino Online” project, or whether new players will conquer the Dutch gambling market.
Endemol Shine Group
One of those new, unexpected players is perhaps John de Mol (Endemol), the company behind television formats such as The Voice, Fear Factor, Dancing with the Stars, Master Chef, Black Mirror (Netflix) and reality show Big Brother. The company also owns 21st Century Fox, Kudos and Dragonfly Film. Endemol was founded in 1994 after a merger of the television production companies of Joop van den Ende and John de Mol.
What many people do not know is that Endemol Shine Group, is already marketing high-quality games with well-known themes and formats from the Endemol Group, including: Austin Powers, Dumb and Dumber, Million Dollar Drop and Oliver Twist.
Their best known title – which is extremely popular among online gamblers – is the live casino game Deal or No Deal Live that Endemol Shine Group is putting on the market through a collaboration with game provider Evolution Gaming.
Collaborations with Evolution Gaming and Playtech
Although most people know Endemol from their television formats, they have been successfully active in the igaming industry for years. They work closely with major gambling companies such as Playtech, Novomatic, Scientific Games, IGT, Blueprint Gaming, Red Tiger, Gamblit and Gamesys.
Because most games are eventually released under their partners’ brands, Endemol Shine Group is fairly unknown to the general public. But everyone who knows John de Mol knows: he always does things big!
Will Endemol launch its own online casino?
Now that online gambling in the Netherlands will soon be legal, the rumors are buzzing. Is John de Mol going to launch an online casino? And if so, under what brand is it released? Will it be named Casino Talpa, Endemol Casino or will they collaborate with an existing gambling company?
Anyway, it will be very interesting for Endemol to claim a portion of this market. After all, the Dutch gambling market is much wider than casinos alone. Think of premium sms and phone games on television, or gambling elements in various TV formats. Everything is possible in that regard.
And last but not least: Endemol owns most of the online and offline media market in the Netherlands. From TV channels (Talpa, SBS6, SBS9, NET5, Veronica) to print media (newspapers, gossip magazines, magazines, etc) and radio (Slam FM, Radio 538, Sky Radio, Radio 10, Radio Veronica). With this they are able to put their gambling services on the market quickly and on a large scale. It will also be difficult for potential competitors to advertise on the major Dutch media channels, as they will have to get permission from Endemol.
Gambling on The Voice of Holland?
One of the options that we may underestimate is in-game gambling, or in this case: television gambling. Consider bets such as “who will be the winner” on a TV program such as The Voice, or allow viewers to gamble at game shows such as Deal or No Deal or one of their 700 other TV formats.
But it can go much further. What do you think of sports betting, for example? An enormous amount of money is spent on online sports betting. How cool would it be if you can bet on your favorite sports team via the TV while watching a basketball, tennis or football match. With a simple button on your remote control, via smart TV or via an app offered by Endemol. This would theoretically make online gambling sites obsolete.
And Endemol has a billion-dollar budget, controls the Dutch media landscape, has viewers … they actually have everything under their own management. If this party goes on the market, the competition suddenly has to face a huge competitor.
RTL Nederland is also interested in a Dutch gambling license
Few people have escaped the fact that the Dutch gambling market is moving fast. Companies are of course not standing still, and every party that has any ambition in this area is currently investigating whether the Dutch gambling market offers new opportunities.
One of those parties – if we have to believe the rumors – is RTL Nederland, part of the RTL Group. This media company operates TV channels such as RTL 4, RTL 5, RTL 7, RTL 8, RTL Z, RTL Lounge, RTL Crime, RTL Telekids, online streaming service RTL XL and video platform Videoland.
If RTL indeed decides to enter the Dutch gambling market, then given the mutual interests and history with Talpa (part of Endemol), it is in line with expectations that RTL Nederland will choose to cooperate with Endemol.
For now it is mainly speculation. In about a year we will get clarity and we will finally find out which parties will actually receive a Dutch gambling license.
Original source: will the producer of the voice conquer the dutch gambling market