Gambling firms book a sharp rise in profits as online grows

Photo: Dutch News

Gambling firms boosted their profits by 26% last year, when compared with 2019, before coronavirus put paid to casino visits.

In total, licenced gambling firms raked in the equivalent of €258 per head of the adult population in 2022, a rise of €100 on 2021 as casinos opened their doors again. But this is still 14% down on the average EU spending on games of chance.

Online gambling, legalised in October 2021, accounted for 31% of total sales last year, according to figures from the Dutch gambling authority KSA. Casino visits made up the bulk of spending – 56% – while spending on lotteries rose 20% and now makes up 10% of the total.

The government’s addiction tzar said last month online gambling companies should be held legally responsible if they don’t do enough to protect players against addiction and spending huge amounts of money on their services.

Online gambling was legalised two years ago – ostensibly to protect punters – and this is the first analysis by government reporter Arnt Schellekens. In total 24 companies now have licences to target Dutch players in an industry which, Schellekens told Trouw, has had a “disastrous” impact.

Earlier this year, the KSA said legalidation had resulted in hundreds of thousands of new players and that gambling firms had failed in their duty of care to protect players against addiction.

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