The Netherlands gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has confirmed that it expects to begin licensing online gaming operators after July 1st, 2020, with the market set to open on January 1st, 2021.

KSA chair René Jansen said that the authority will be in a position to begin drafting license conditions as soon as the ministry of justice and security has finished drafting the secondary legislation to the Remote Gambling Act.

“Such an operation places quite a high demand on an organisation the size of the KSA.” Jansen said. “However, we are doing everything in our power to get it done. If we cannot manage with our permanent staff, we will hire external staff.”

The new licensing and market opening dates follow the KSA’s warning in May that “it will be a long time before the market for online gambling actually opens up”.

The Netherlands regulator had originally been expected to begin the licensing process next month.

With that date now pushed back by a year, the regulator is inviting prospective licensees to express their interest by completing the ‘I would like to become a KSA licence holder’ registration form on the KSA website.

“It is important for the KSA to know how many licence applications we can expect in the future,” Jansen explained. “This information will allow us to organise the licensing process properly. A smooth process is not only in our own interest but also in the interest of the companies that are going to apply for a licence.”