The Dutch gambling regulator has revealed that 79 gaming and wagering firms have expressed interest in acquiring a licence to operate online in the Netherlands.
The Kansspeautoriteit (KSA) made the announcement on Monday, a few days before the June 21 deadline for gambling companies to throw their hats in the ring.
Although there is no official word on the identities of the operators in question, it is understood that the best-known European gambling brands are well represented.
The top local candidate for a KSA licence is Holland Casino, which holds a monopoly on land-based gaming in the Netherlands.
The company has 14 locations across the country and will remain a state-run enterprise after lawmakers in Amsterdam binned privatisation plans last month.
Holland Casino has several advantages over foreign gambling operators, including far superior brand awareness among Dutch punters.
Also, as a brick-and-mortar retailer up til now, it will not be subjected to the Remote Gambling Act’s penalties for ‘cowboy’ firms that have previously serviced the unregulated online market in the Netherlands.
Once such company is Betsson, which recently rebranded its Dutch-facing casino sites in a bid to disassociate itself from KSA fines handed out last year.
While expressions of interest close this week, the official application process for Netherlands online gambling licences will not open until July 2020.