The Dutch regulated online gambling market has achieved a channelization rate of 85% in its first year, the country’s regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has announced.
“Channelization” here refers to the level at which gamblers are engaged with the new regulated market as opposed to the black market. The rate of 85%, if accurate, would be a great success for the regulator, which targeted 80% channelization at launch.
Combating the black market is a major priority for a new online gambling jurisdiction. Unburdened by regulations and taxation, black market operators can often offer better odds and promotions than their legal counterparts, which is why players continue to use them post-regulation.
And despite evidence that gamblers prefer licensed, regulated platforms, there’s often an education gap, which means they find it difficult to differentiate between legal and black markets.
KSA chair René Jansen told iGB in July that his organization had investigated more than 200 websites since the market opened in October 2021. Its enforcement efforts appear to be paying off. The regulator has been given powers to tackle illegal operators with hefty fines, but also to go after the payment processors that enable them.
KSA noted there are reasons to be cautious about the 85% channelization rate, which may be slightly overestimated. That’s because the survey that generated the results asked respondents to choose from a list of 22 illegal providers. There are currently more than 22 black market operators targeting the Netherlands.
KSA estimates channelization rates by analyzing web traffic, which suggested that 80% might be closer to the truth. Web traffic analysis cannot differentiate between those who are gambling on a site and those who simply visit it.
KSA described the market as “stable.” It has been generating approximately €80 million ($78.6 million) per month for government coffers, the regulator added.
Germany Begins Black Market Fight
Dutch success will be welcomed in neighboring Germany, which has embarked on its own battle against the black market to protect its recently launched regulatory regime.
German regulations are among the strictest in the world. They include high taxes and limits on stakes and monthly deposits – restrictions that critics say will help the black market thrive.
The success of the market will largely depend on the newly created German regulator Glücksspielbehörde’s (GGL) success at suppressing unlicensed operators by blocking IPs and targeting payment processors.
German betting association DSWV said Monday it believes there are around 400 unlicensed gambling sites that specifically target Germany.
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