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Dutch-language online casinos topping the agenda as key regulatory date arrives

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Dutch-language online casinos topping the agenda as key regulatory date arrives
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The Netherlands has always been one of gambling’s European heartlands, but it has been pushed right to the top of the iGaming agenda in recent weeks. The Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Netherlands regulatory body, officially started processing applications for online gambling licenses 01 April, as the six-month countdown began to the online casino market officially opening on 01 October for operators granted a license. René Jansen is the KSA Chairman, and he anticipates that the body will issue approximately 35 licenses in readiness for the official opening.  

 

A blossoming market 

Of course, this is welcome news for would-be operators in the Netherlands. But it also has broader implications for the European casino industry. Research by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) shows that online gambling activity in the Netherlands has escalated dramatically, increasing by 150 percent from less than 500,000 people in 2015 to around 1.2 million in 2019. Revenue has increased even more dramatically, showing more than a tenfold rise, from less than €300 million to more than €3 billion over the same timeframe. 

 

Bringing order out of chaos 

The new licensing regulations will seek to bring order to what is currently a chaotic online gambling market. Until now, Holland Casino has held a monopoly on gambling within The Netherlands – at least in theory. The problem has always been that overseas operators have welcomed Dutch players to their online platforms with open arms, and attempting to prevent them has been as fruitful as nailing jelly to a wall – and also as messy.  

Since 2019, however, with the new roadmap agreed, the KSA has stepped up compliance monitoring and has not been shy about fining big-name operators. In fact, in 2019 alone, it issued 10 such fines for a total amount of €3.5 million. The message could not be clearer – get in line and apply for a license or stay away from the Netherlands! The KSA has even gone so far as to say that operators who have tried to circumvent the rules in the past, for example by offering Dutch language versions of their platforms, will be pushed to the back of the queue. 

 

Broader market opportunities  

Yet therein lies an important distinction. Dutch gamblers and gamblers in the Netherlands are not necessarily the same thing. In fact, of the 23 million Dutch-speakers in the world, approximately one in four live outside the Netherlands. Even the most conservative estimates would place that at more than a million Dutch-speaking casino players living outside the Netherlands, and possibly as many as two million. 

The implications are clear – with the average player spending €190 per year, there’s a market worth something in the order of a quarter of a billion Euros per year in revenue just ready and waiting for quick-thinking affiliates. Already, we are seeing early movers like Casino Senpai aiming to fill this gap with content and casino listings aimed specifically at this market.  

 

Opportunities for all 

Unlike the situation in some emerging markets, gamblers in the Netherlands are not heavily biased towards any one type of gambling. Sports betting is expected to be the larger part of the market, but not by a significant margin. Casino games are also popular, with roulette attracting the most players, and blackjack close behind it.  

These are exciting times for the gambling market in the Netherlands, and the new regulations bring a world of opportunity to operators in all niches. The newly licensed operators will also bring a world of choice to Dutch speaking gamblers, so when 01 October comes around, it should be a day of celebration for all. 

Africa

NBA Africa and Hennessy to Host League’s First NBA Crossover Lifestyle Event on the Continent

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NBA Africa and Hennessy to Host League's First NBA Crossover Lifestyle Event on the Continent
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NBA Africa and Hennessy, the world’s best-selling cognac, today announced that NBA Crossover, an invite-only lifestyle event that will showcase the convergence of the NBA and popular culture through the art, fashion, music and technology that surround today’s game, will take place in Africa for the first time on Saturday, Feb. 5 at Landmark Beach Front in Lagos, Nigeria.

As part of NBA Crossover, Africa’s first floating basketball court will be displayed at Ikoyi Link Bridge in Lagos from Feb. 3-5. In addition, on Feb. 5 Hennessy will be the Presenting Partner of a celebrity basketball game at Landmark Beach Front featuring Nigerian artists, performers and media personalities. NBA Africa and Hennessy will also donate a basketball court to the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency at Ikorodu Recreational Park as part of their and Lagos State’s commitment to providing people in the state with access to sport.

“We at Hennessy are thrilled to partner with NBA Africa to create this unforgettable experience in Lagos. Nigeria is such an important market for both Hennessy and the NBA, and this event is something we’ve been looking forward to for some time,” said Hennessy President & CEO Laurent Boillot. “The NBA and Hennessy have made a huge impact on urban culture across the globe, and this partnership event in Lagos will again showcase that our collective influence moves far beyond the court. Over the past year, Hennessy has partnered with the NBA to showcase courts in iconic locations in Australia, China and the UK, and it is now time for Nigeria to enter the game.”

“We are thrilled to celebrate the NBA’s landmark 75th Anniversary Season with Hennessy in such iconic fashion,” said NBA Africa CEO Victor Williams. “Nigerian players have had tremendous impact on basketball and the NBA, and it is only fitting that we host our first NBA Crossover event on the continent in Lagos, where there is already tremendous talent and passion for the game.”

“NBA Africa is committed to the development of basketball in Nigeria, and this event, in addition to the opening of our office in Lagos, mark another milestone in our efforts to grow the game in the country,” said NBA Africa Vice President & Country Head of Nigeria, Gbemisola Abudu. “I look forward to NBA Crossover and to working with my colleagues to expand our engagement with Nigerian fans, partners and basketball stakeholders in the months and years to come.”

For more than 250 years, Hennessy has celebrated those who embody the “Never Stop. Never Settle” ethos that is personified by the NBA’s unwavering commitment to drive culture forward. Throughout the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Season, Hennessy will celebrate the tradition and mindset of basketball fans across Africa through a range of consumer events, activations and localized content.

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Splash Tech launches Free-to-Play daily retention game Sports Lotto for sportsbooks, casinos and media sites globally

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Splash Tech launches Free-to-Play daily retention game Sports Lotto for sportsbooks, casinos and media sites globally
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Sports Lotto, is a fully integrate-able web application which can be adapted to meet any sportsbook, casino and media site’s needs to build brand, while attracting and retaining customers.

Sports Lotto is delivered via a light touch, low-code Software Development Kit (SDK) designed to enable rapid customisation and speed to market. All content on the web app is fully customisable and can therefore be made available across any sport, any league and in any language worldwide.

The product contains a lottery-style element that rewards users that make both perfect and imperfect predictions, with prizes customisable from $1 through to $100,000,000 and everything in between, including physical rewards, free bets and free spins.

Splash Tech’s growing team works with providers’ teams around the world, adapting and integrating Sports Lotto to meet customers’ business needs as part of its fully managed service.

Splash Tech increases engagement in its games by asking quiz-style questions which appeal to sports enthusiasts – going beyond regular ‘who will win or lose’ questions to get gamers really engaged.

Splash Tech, founded two years ago, creates market leading, highly engaging free-to-play (FTP) daily retention games which already help major brands such as 888, DRF and MaximBet to build their brands, showcase their customer experiences, acquire new customers inexpensively and retain them for longer.

In a linked announcement, Splash Tech has just appointed Ross Main as its new Sales Director. Ross previously held senior sales roles at both sports betting publishing and events organiser SBC and B2B sports betting services and software platform provider Kambi.

Ross Main commented:

“I am delighted to be joining Splash Tech now. Customer Engagement is an increasingly difficult challenge in the industry. Operators are constantly looking to find new ways to engage, acquire and retain their customers across highly competitive Casino, Sports Betting and iGaming markets. Splash is the premium FTP games provider for operators across the world and I can’t wait to show my network and beyond this flexible and scalable world class technology.’

Adam Wilson, Founder of Splash Tech, added:”It’s great to be onboarding Ross at this pivotal moment as we unveil Sports Lotto and secure new client wins which see us expanding rapidly worldwide.”

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236 suspicious betting alerts reported by IBIA in 2021

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236 suspicious betting alerts reported by IBIA in 2021
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The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) reported 236 cases of suspicious betting to the relevant authorities during 2021, with 69 alerts in the fourth quarter (Q4). The annual figure is a 13% reduction on the 270 cases reported in 2020. The 2021 figure is consistent with recent years, with the average number of annual alerts at 240 during 2018-20. The 2021 alerts spanned 13 sports and 49 different countries, with tennis and football continuing to dominate. Europe also continued to provide the highest number of alerts with 50% of the annual total.

Khalid Ali, CEO of IBIA, said: “Another challenging year for the sector has passed with the spectre of Covid and its impact on sporting events declining, and hopefully a potential endgame in sight. It is therefore welcomed that the alerts for 2021 showed a downward trend and a return to pre-Covid numbers. Challenges however persist, notably with the growth of private sports events and establishing integrity protocols to the levels seen in traditional sports bodies. The association is working with a number of stakeholders in this area to improve integrity provisions.

“Indeed, the dangers of betting corruption remain, and as the Optimum Betting Market report published last year highlighted, that equates to around $25m per annum in lost revenue for the regulated betting sector globally. It is therefore welcome that the requirement for operators to be part of an integrity monitoring system have gathered pace across the US, and have been endorsed in Sweden, to add to existing requirements in the Netherlands, Germany and the Czech Republic. The approach in Ontario is particularly worthy of attention and is a best practice model. The association looks forward to working with a wider range of operators on integrity as a result.”

Other key data for 2021:

  • 80 – Total tennis alerts, a decrease of 18% on the 98 reported in 2020
  • 66 – Football alerts, an increase of 8% on 2021 and the highest annual number reported
  • 27 – Alerts on sporting events in Russia, the highest number for a single country in 2021
  • 11 – Successful sporting or criminal sanctions during 2021 from IBIA alerts
  • 10 – Alerts reported in North America, a 54% decrease on the 22 reported in 2020
  • Over the five-year period 2017-21, IBIA reported 1,222 alerts across 19 sports and 101 countries.

The International Betting Integrity Association is the leading global voice on integrity for the licensed betting industry. It is run by operators for operators, protecting its members from corruption through collective action. Its monitoring and alert platform is a highly effective anti-corruption tool that detects and reports suspicious activity on its members’ betting markets. The association has longstanding information sharing partnerships with leading sports and gambling regulators to utilise its data and prosecute corruption. It represents the sector at high-level policy discussion forums such as the IOC, UN, Council of Europe and European Commission.

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