Dutch online sector surpasses million active accounts

Lea Hogg 1 month ago
Dutch online sector surpasses million active accounts

The Dutch online gambling sector has surpassed one million active accounts for the first time, despite experiencing a slowdown in growth during 2023. The Kansspelautoriteit gaming authority (KSA) revealed in its sixth monitoring report that the Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) for the year ending 31 December 2023 stood at €1.39 billion, marking a 28 percent increase from the previous year. However, the last six months of the year saw a mere 1 percent increase in GGR compared to the first half.

The number of active accounts in 2023 was reported to be 1.1 million, a 13 percent increase from 2022. The KSA estimates that approximately a third of these accounts, equating to around 448,000 players, are active each month. In the latter half of 2023, about 726,000 players were active with legal providers, indicating that roughly 5 percent of the adult Dutch population engaged in online gambling during this period.

The report also highlighted that players lost an average of €958 in the last six months of 2023, translating to about €160 per month. This figure is slightly lower than the €170 average loss per month reported in the first half of the year.

The KSA expressed concern over the overrepresentation of young adults within the Dutch gambling sector. Despite making up only 9.5 percent of the population, those aged 18-23 own 22 percent of gambling accounts. The KSA noted, however, that the number of young adult players has not significantly increased in the past year, and they lose less money on average (€52 per month) than players aged 24 and older.

Impact of advertising bans

The report also examined the impact of the ban on untargeted advertising, which came into effect in July 2023. It found that 90% of players gamble exclusively via legal websites, surpassing the target of 80 percent. The KSA stated that the market has not contracted noticeably since the ban. However, visits to gambling websites by non-players have significantly decreased, suggesting that the advertising ban primarily affects those who do not yet play.

In February, the KSA shared its supervisory agenda for 2024, outlining four key areas of focus. As part of its mission to ensure “safe gaming”, the KSA plans to enhance the protection of vulnerable players in the Netherlands by working to prevent addiction. This follows measures taken in 2023, including the introduction of a ban on most forms of advertising.

The KSA also aims to combat illegal online offerings, with a goal for at least 90 percent of players to gamble with legal providers in the Netherlands. However, some industry observers have questioned the effectiveness of the KSA’s current approach in enforcement terms.

In a related development, a motion to completely prohibit gambling advertising in the Netherlands was proposed in February by Derk Boswijk of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party. Although the proposal to extend the 2023 ban on untargeted advertising ultimately failed, it was the latest in a series of efforts to regulate the Dutch gambling sector.

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