Kindred ceases operations in the Netherlands when market opens, predicts annual success of £ 144million | Licence

Operator Unibet Kindred has halted operations in the Netherlands as igaming launches in the country today (October 1), which it says could lead to an increase in revenue of £ 144million per year.

The operator is requesting clarifications from the Dutch authorities regarding his authorization request, which he expects in the coming days.

Kindred CEO Henrik Tjärnström said the operator believes he does not have to block customers from the Netherlands until he targets them, but said Kindred will not accept customers Dutch until clarified. This, he said, could happen in the next few days.

“We understand that international operators are not required to block Dutch players,” he said.

He said Kindred believes it has met all licensing criteria necessary to enter the Dutch market, including a cooling off period, required for all licensees who previously targeted unlicensed Dutch customers.

During this cooling-off period, operators are not allowed to be active in the Dutch market. Although Kindred believes he followed these rules – although he paid what Tjärnström described as a “voluntary sanction” for unauthorized Dutch trades in 2019 – he said circumstances have changed now that the authorized market has been launched, and therefore he would not accept Dutch clients until she was certain of his legal situation.

The operator will apply for a license shortly after November 1, once the cooling-off period has passed.

Tjärnström said: “We have taken steps to temporarily cease operations due to formative changes which have created uncertainty in the market. We did not actively target the Dutch market – the 2019 fine was a voluntary payment. In a letter sent by the minister on September 20, he makes it clear that there should be no connection between having passively Dutch customers and the licensing process.

“It is part of the regulatory developments that it is a fine for operators who have not actively targeted Dutch customers to obtain a license and operate in the Dutch market. We met the criteria; no .nl web address, no dutch marketing, no dutch payment solutions. Therefore, we do not actively target Dutch customers.

Kindred estimates that the decision to shut down operations in the Netherlands will cost the company £ 12million per month in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) before any potential mitigation measures. Kindred’s underlying EBITDA in 2020 was £ 118.0million, or £ 9.8million per month on average.

Tjärnström went on to say that the company had not yet submitted its license application due to the wait for the cooling off period. Players in the Netherlands with an active account on Kindred sites will not be able to place bets, but will still be able to withdraw money from their accounts.

Tjärnström added: “Our license application has been ongoing for a long time and we have passed all the required audits. We are also working to make our systems fully compliant and ready to go as soon as possible, but we also have the cooling off period to consider.

“We are ready with a few aspects of the request and plan to be ready with most of them by November 1. We want to continue the process that we have been going through for a year and a half.”

The Kindred chief executive added that when he finally relaunched in the Netherlands, he couldn’t be sure what the market’s profits would look like, but said a similar experience in France had given him success. optimism.

Kindred’s decision to go out of business follows similar action by Betsson and LeoVegas. UK operator Entain has also halted its Netherlands-based operations with a view to obtaining a gambling license in the country.

Today, 888 Holdings also announced that it will block Dutch players.

“In recent periods the Netherlands has accounted for around 3% of the group’s total revenue and the impact on 2021 results of 888 of this change is not expected to be significant,” he said. .

Dutch regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has revealed the ten operators who were approved for a Dutch gaming license in time for market launch.

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