€486 million gambled online in six months
Netherlands residents gambled 486 million euros online in the first half of this year, NOS reports based on figures from the Gambling Authority. The amount for the whole of 2022 may well exceed a billion euros as more gambling companies become active and the football World Cup happens.
When online gambling became active in the Netherlands in October last year, ten companies were licensed to provide gambling activities on the internet. That has now increased to 22, with more expected in the coming months. Thre are 563,000 active accounts at these companies.
On average, an online gambler loses 153 euros per month. Rene Jansen, chairman of the Gambling Authority, is not surprised by the amount. “People were already gambling before the market opened, but then illegally. It is a personal choice where people spend their money. Some can afford it, especially if they are recreational players who are in control. Then I can’t judge what they spend their money on,” he said to NOS.
The Gambling Authority’s figures show that young adults between the ages of 18 and 23 are overrepresented. Over one in five of the active accounts belong to a young adult. The law that allows online gambling states explicitly that young adults must be protected against a possible gambling addiction as much as possible.
Jansen believes this should be researched. “There is an overrepresentation of this vulnerable group, and we have to keep a close eye on that. But we don’t have deep insights into this yet. They are, of course, an online generation that grew up with the internet, much more than other generations.”