The Entain Group has today announced that they will be ending all its operations in the Netherlands starting Friday, October 1. This includes pulling out its popular sportsbetting brand BWIN.

In a press release issued this morning, the company stated:

“Since July 2019 Entain has been operating in compliance with the Netherlands Gambling Authority (“NGA”) ‘cooling off’ criteria.  In accordance with the NGA’s policy changes announced last week Entain will cease its offering for players in the Netherlands on 1 October 2021.  This will impact EBITDA by around £5m per month.  Entain will submit its Dutch licence application later this year and the Group aims to be granted a licence during the first half of 2022, in line with the Group’s objective of only operating in domestically regulated markets.”

The move will see the group’s popular brands such as BWIN, Partypoker, PartyCasino, Ladbrokes and Coral not being available in the country. It is expected that a geoblock will come in place which prevents any players accessing the site from the Netherlands.

This action comes after the Dutch Remote Gambling Act, in force since April, requires a license to operate in the country, October 1 onwards. While large online operators such as bet365 and GGPoker have been issued a license to operate in the Netherlands this week, Entain will have to wait at least another 6 months.

Two other large providers of online gaming, Flutter, known for its PokerStars and Betfair brands and the Kindred Group, with Unibet in its stables, have also not secured a license. They are expected to follow Entain’s decision and announce a complete shut down of Dutch operations soon as well. The Dutch Gaming Authority, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) is going to enforce the legislation in place and will issue significant fines to operators who have not been issued a license, yet continue to operate. More importantly, these providers will risk not being granted a license early 2022, should they continue business as usual.

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