Dutch gambling market generated in 2018 €2.05billion in revenue, making it the first national sector to surpass the €2bn mark.

The figures were announced by the Dutch governmental institution the Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (CBS) and confirms that it has grown by 11% since 2015. A percentage that represents a real time increase of €1.85bn and includes all sales minus prizes and tax.

It is likely that this increase has been dramatically boosted by a steady increase in consumer spend, with players in the Netherlands having wagered a total of €2.5bn in 2018. This in itself is up 12% from 2015.

The statement confirmed that as a result of this higher income, there was therefore a higher level of tax generated from the gambling industry. In 2018, the gambling sector contributed €529m in tax to the Dutch authorities, up from €476m in 2015.

Alongside this, there has also been an increase in the job opportunities being offered by the gambling market, with a total of 8300 people now being employed within the sector. However, these figures are down from the 8900 cited in 2010 and are from 2017, with the data for last year yet to be confirmed.

This massive growth comes despite the country having strict gambling laws, with only land-based gaming activities being legalised. However, in February this year, the Dutch Senate did pass the Netherlands Remote Gambling Act, a development that is likely to allow for further market growth.

Subject to further approval from the Ministry of Justice and Security, the law will come into effect on the 1st of July 2020 and from then the regulator will be able to draw up license terms. It is estimated that the market will then allow launching from January 2021.

Last month, the regulator revealed that 183 companies had already expressed their interest.

However, the CBS also confirmed that there was still an apparent issue with illegal gambling in the country, but the most recent figures are from 2015. In 2015, illegal gambling was said to have generated €170m in income and this represented 9% of the total market revenue.

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