Friday, 1 October 2021

KSA Names First Licensed Gaming Operators, Entain & LeoVegas Pull Out

KSA Gambling Licenses

The Dutch Gaming Authority, also known as Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has revealed which gambling operators it has granted gaming licenses to.

From today (October 1st, 2021), a total of ten gambling companies will be allowed to operate in the Netherlands’ legal online gambling market. The ten firms include the state-run Holland Casino, the Nederlandse Loterij, FPO Nederland, Italian-based firm Betent, Belgian firm Bingoal, NSUS Malta, sports media company LiveScore Malta, British bookmaker Bet365, bingo provider Tombola, and Malta and Estonian firm Play North Ltd.

As reported by CasinoBeats, KSA has stated that it will be publishing a gaming guide designed to inform players on how to check whether a provider has a license to offer gambling services. The regulator has also made a requirement for all licensed operators to partner with the CRUKS self-exclusion service, similar to GAMSTOP.

A total of 30 applications had been submitted to launch with the country’s legal online gambling market, but only ten have been approved, suggesting all others were rejected after having failed to meet the regulator’s requirements.

René Jansen, the Chair of the KSA, spoke about the authority’s licensing approvals, saying: “High requirements are imposed on a license, including in the field of addiction prevention and consumer protection, and the KSA tests rigorously. However, a certain degree of nuance would be appropriate here. I would like to point out that this is only the beginning of the legislation and regulation of the online market. We are moving into a phased opening of the market.”

He continued: “Applications are still pending and we expect to receive a significant number of new applications by April 2022. There will be operators who postponed submitting their applications in connection with the so-called ‘cooling off’ period as a result of the Postema Parliamentary motion. And there probably are operators who waited with submitting an application for the simple reason that they were not yet ready to do so.”

Following the KSA’s announcement, operators Entain, Betsson, and LeoVegas have pulled out of the Dutch online gambling market, with Entain vowing to submit its application for a license by the end of the year.

The betting operator released a statement this week stating that it had complied with the “cooling off” period and that from today (October 1st, 2021), its services are no longer available in the Netherlands – a decision Entain has said will impact its earnings before interest, depreciation, and taxes by around £5 million a month.

Entain’s statement was echoed by LeoVegas, which also said it would submit its application later this year. Betsson revealed that its decision to also pull out of the market would affect its earnings by around SEK 25 million before interest, depreciation, and taxes.

Bet365 Named Official Betting Partner Of Boxxer

Meanwhile, betting operator Bet365 has been named the official betting partner of Boxxer and Sky Sports boxing.

Under the agreement, Bet365 will be integrated into Boxxer’s social and digital content, and the bookmaker’s branding will be displayed during boxing events at the Sky Sports Wembley Arena from October 2nd. In addition, Bet365 will live stream shows on its platform, which will be available in international territories.

Ben Shalom, the CEO and Founder of Boxxer, said in a statement via SBCNews: “We’re delighted to announce this new partnership with Bet365, given their customer conscience, quality and trusted position around the world. We believe there is substantial synergy in terms of our brand values, with both companies committed to innovation and unlocking access to the greatest live sporting events.”

A spokesperson for Bet365 commented: “We are delighted to be working with an exciting new partner within the boxing space that will bring compelling new events to the growing industry. We place significant importance on working closely with all of our partners and look forward to forming a positive relationship with Boxxer.”

Pragmatic Play Launches Bingo Content With Novibet

Pragmatic Play also announced a partnership this week with Novibet, helping to expand the developer’s reach throughout Europe.

Under the brand new agreement, Pragmatic Play has launched its highly acclaimed bingo content with the gambling operator, including its headline game Bingo Blast. The agreement is the latest struck by Pragmatic Play and comes after the firm made similar partnerships with operators like Coolbet, Luckia, BetPlay, Betsson Group, and more.

Bhotesh Maheshwari, the Vice President of Commercial Strategy and Operations at Pragmatic Play, said in a statement: “We’re thrilled to be launch another vertical with Novibet so swiftly after launching our live casino offering with them. Our dedication to delivering engaging iGaming experiences to fans remains steadfast and we’re looking forward to enjoying this expanded relationship with the operator.”

Fotini Matthaiou, the Casino Manager at Novibet, added: “The fact that Pragmatic Play’s multi-product portfolio offers so many different gaming options, played a significant roles in our fruitful collaboration. Integrated smoothly via the supplier’s single API connection, we are able to offer exciting bingo games to our players and live up to their expectations, once again.

“We are confident that our new partnership will freshen and enhance our entertainment content and that our members will enjoy Pragmatic Play’s exciting bingo games to the fullest.”

Microgaming Adds Spinstars Content To Its Aggregation Platform

Also this week, leading game developer Microgaming has announced a partnership with new studio Spinstars, adding the developer’s content to Microgaming’s aggregation platform.

Under the agreement, Spinstars’ ten unique casino games have launched with Microgaming, including Wild Joker, Steampunk 500, and the Netherlands-based branded slot The Voice Of Holland. All of these games will now be available with all partnered Microgaming operators in Belgium, Germany, Malta, and the newly launched Dutch market.

Graeme Powrie, the Director of Aggregation at Microgaming, said in a statement: “We’re thrilled to welcome Spinstars to the Microgaming platform, bringing with them a wealth of unique and exciting gameplay experiences with a classic slot machine feel. The deal comes at an exciting time for Microgaming as we prepare to enter the Dutch regulated market on October 1st with a diverse collection of top partners releases, alongside exclusive studio games.”

Joeri Dikkeboom, the CEO at Spinstars, commented: “Our Spinstars products have been heavily anticipated by customers who are not just looking for unique content, but especially content that will help them strike the right note in countries where classic slots are more well-known than video slots, such as the Dutch market. In Microgaming, we’ve found a partner that cannot just facilitate this demand, but has been supportive of our mission to bring ‘classic games’ with ‘new technology’ since the very beginning.”

888 Casino Adds Tom Horn Gamitnership Content

Finally, gambling giant 888 Casino has formed a partnership with Tom Horn Gaming, adding the studio’s games to its casino website.

Under the brand new partnership, Tom Horn Gaming’s entire selection of games has been made available with 888 Casino, including classic titles like 243 Crystal Fruits and all new games 81 Frutas Grandes and La Tomatina, among numerous others.

Ondrej Lapides, the CEO at Tom Horn Gaming, said in a statement: “This is a pivotal moment in our long-term expansion strategy. Joining forces with such an industry-leading partner like 888 means a lot to Tom Horn Gaming. Not only does it confirm our games are in high demand among top tier operators, it also acknowledges our never-ending aspirations to deliver gaming content that is not only highly entertaining, but also innovative and safe.”

Talya Benyamini, the Vice President of B2C Casino at 888, added: “We’re pleased to partner with Tom Horn Gaming to further enhance our 888 Casino content offering. We are confident that our customers will enjoy its innovative and dynamic games, which supports our existing catalogue of industry-leading titles. We look forward to working with Tom Horn Gaming in the months ahead.”