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Dutch iGaming license on agenda for Entain

Last Updated on by James King

Despite being understood to be the subject of a reported $20 billion bid from US online gambling company, DraftKings, this has not stopped UK company, Entain, from pursuing a license to operate in the newly regulated Dutch iGaming market, which officially launched on October 1.

However, because Entain brands, which include Coral, Ladbrokes and Bwin, have been offering their services unofficially to Dutch customers prior to online gambling being approved and during the ‘cooling off’ period, albeit offshore, it means that the brands that were doing his are required to wait one year before they can apply for a Dutch license.

Dutch iGaming license on agenda for Entain

For Entain, who have made a number of key moves into some European markets over the last year, this would be a considerable coup. The acquisition of Bet.pt has given them inroads into Portugal, while the purchase of Enlabs gave them access to the Swedish market and by extension, the Baltic states.

 

Why would this be significant for Entain?

If all goes according to plan for Entain, it is likely to receive its Dutch license in the first half of 2022, and as a result, it could prepare to go live with one or some of its brands by the third quarter.

Although UK competitor Bet 365 have already been granted a license in the Dutch market, Entain would not be far behind them and have the advantage of a substantial amount of brand presence in other European markets as well.

For the receipt of a license in the Dutch market though, Entain could face competition from big European players, Betsson and the Kindred Group (the latter which has the brands, Unibet and 32Red).

However, it is understood that the Kindred Group is refusing to leave the Dutch market, insisting that it is compliant with the legislation, though the company could face hefty fines if found to be in breach of any laws.

It is widely believed that the Dutch online gambling market will become one of the strongest in Europe, to rival the UK, with the governing body – the KSA understood to be on the same wavelength as the UKGC when it comes to tough legislation and the vetting process.

For Entain to be approved for a license in the territory, would be a great feather in its cap, giving it further, serious credibility, following successes in Sweden and the Baltic region. It could also help to ward off interest from DraftKings, with its valuation increasing considerably, though this could well be wishful thinking.

Entain is a company in demand right now, especially for US online gambling companies going shopping in Europe, with MGM Resorts International having two bids swiftly rejected earlier in the year.