The Netherlands Gambling Authority (KSA) has released its latest monitoring report on the Dutch online gambling market.
In the report, the regulator sets out key figures and trends up to January 2023, including market size, player behaviour and advertising trends.
Below, iGaming NEXT explores some of the key facts and findings.
GGR in the Netherlands’ online gambling market reached €1.08bn in 2022, with €484m coming from the first half of the year and the remaining €596m in the second half.
Following the end of that period, GGR in January 2023 totalled €124m, up 37.8% on January 2022, at €90m.
Online casino (against the house – including games such as roulette, blackjack and so on) accounted for 72% of revenue in 2022.
Peer-to-peer games such as poker and bingo accounted for a further 2.9% of the market, while horse racing betting brought in a modest 0.3% of the total GGR.
Sports betting therefore accounted for the remaining 24.8% of GGR.
Another way to consider the size of the Dutch market is by studying the number of active player accounts registered in the country.
As of January 2023, the total number of registered accounts in the Netherlands reached 2.1 million, up some 158% year-on-year.
Not all of those accounts were active, however.
In general, the KSA said, around half of the registered accounts are actually used by players, and by January 2023 around 859,000 of the total accounts were considered active, up 75.6% compared to January 2022.
Those figures do not necessarily correlate to the number of active players in the country, and the KSA determined that on average players registered 2.6 accounts with licensed operators.
Based on data commissioned from research institute Growth from Knowledge (GfK), the KSA estimated that there were around 762,000 players using licensed operators in 2022, representing some 5.3% of the Netherlands’ adult population.
Data from GfK also helped the KSA to estimate the rate of channelisation among Dutch gamblers.
Based on a study of just 6,000 people, the regulator suggested it has already surpassed its previously stated target of achieving 80% channelisation after three years in the regulated market (by October 2024).
According to the data, as of January almost 100% of players use regulated operators, though some also continue to use unregulated operators alongside them. Of the total, 92% of players are thought to use exclusively licensed operators.
The channelisation rate steadily increased throughout 2022 according to the regulator’s data. Across the whole year, the average number of monthly players participating in online gambling was 365,000.
Of those, on average 319,000 played exclusively with licensed operators, 34,000 played with both licensed and unlicensed operators, and 12,000 played with unlicensed operators only.
The KSA suggested that the high rate of channelisation had been driven in large part by players who were new to the market.
Of those who played exclusively with licensed operators between October 2022 and January 2023, 61% had not gambled online prior to the opening of the Netherlands’ regulated online market in October 2021.
Only 2% of players who did not gamble online before the regulated market launched also used unlicensed operators during that period.
Of those players who did gamble online prior to the regulated market, 45% had switched exclusively to regulated operators, 22% still played with unlicensed operators alongside licensed ones, and the remainder had not played online during the research period’s last four months.
It should be noted that GfK’s research was based on the online activities of around 6,000 participants, with the results weighted to make them representative of Dutch society and used to make extrapolations about the population as a whole.
Considering channelisation in terms of GGR, the KSA pointed to research from H2 Gambling Capital which suggests around 86% of online revenue from the Netherlands will go to licensed operators in 2023.
The average monthly loss per player account was €143 in 2022, a decrease from the €153 average between October 2021 and July 2022.
Growth in overall GGR was therefore driven by a larger number of players losing less each month.
When accounting for multiple accounts and the fact that not all active players gamble every month, the KSA calculated that the actual average monthly loss per player (during months in which they did gamble) was €310.
Among young adults (aged 18 to 23), a demographic of particular concern to the regulator, losses were significantly lower at €54 per account per month.
Given that the average number of accounts for young adults was the same as for other demographics at 2.6, the regulator concluded that an average young player lost much less every month on gambling than the overall average player.
Still, young adults accounted for 9.4% of GGR in 2022, at €102m, and also made up 9.4% of the total adult population. Among the demographic, sports betting made up a greater proportion of GGR than among older age groups, though online casino remained the biggest generator of revenue among both groups.
Ahead of the introduction of an outright ban on all untargeted advertising – including on TV and radio – the number of advertisements appearing on the internet has been steadily increasing.
The number of posts on Facebook and Twitter by gambling operators has also seen a steady increase through 2022, despite a quieter period during the summer months.
A clear spike, especially on Twitter, can be seen around the time of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The number of outdoor advertisements, meanwhile, dropped sharply around May 2022, when members of trade associations NOGA and VNLOK agreed to stop advertising outdoors.
However, the numbers began to creep up again after the summer, when operators not affiliated with the associations began focusing more on outdoor advertising.