On Friday October 1st of 2021 online poker became legal in the Netherlands. At first, ten gaming providers were granted a license for online gambling:
- Batavia Casino and Kansino – Play North Limited
- Bet365 – Hillside (New Media Malta) Plc
- BetCity – Betent B.V.
- Bingoal – Bingoal Nederland B.V.
- Fair Play – FPO Nederland B.V.
- GG Poker – NSUS Malta Limited
- Holland Casino – Holland Casino N.V.
- LiveScore – LiveScore Malta Limited
- Tombola – Tombola International Malta Plc
- TOTO – TOTO Online B.V.
The Dutch Gaming Authority (KSA) in The Hague has activated CRUKS, a central register of exclusion of gaming, for people who want to exclude themselves from gambling activities online.
More licenses were granted…
During the months thereafter, other gaming providers were granted a licence, including:
- 711 – 711/Carousel
- Casino 777 – Casino de Spa
- Circus – Betca B.V.
- Jack’s Casino – JOI Gaming
- Novamedia (brands unknown at this moment)
- Unibet – Optdeck Service Limited
- ZEbet and ZEturf – ZEbetting
The best legal poker site, currently
Of all the above gaming providers, only a few have a received a license to provide “online casino games against each other”, which is the mandatory license to offer a legal online poker site in the Netherlands.
The best legal poker site in the Netherlands seems to be bet365. The company, Hillside (New Media Malta) Plc, was one of the first legal sites to go live on October 26th of 2021. Also, Dutch government owned Holland Casino tends to do very well. Both sites are on the iPoker Network and provide the same poker games, Sit & Go’s and tournaments.
In the third and fourth quarter of 2022, the Dutch Gaming Authority is expected to grant a few more licenses, including renowned poker sites from the Entain and 888 brands. PokerStars, which is still world’s largest online poker site, is also expected to receive a license in 2022.
PokerStars is currently still in its cooling-off period, which still applies for a large number of gaming providers which have been fined by the Dutch Gaming Authority before October 1st of 2021. These sites have to wait a little longer before being granted a license.
One of the biggest developments in the online poker community of late, barring the changing regulations in the US, has been the emergence of fast-fold poker. These games are everywhere and virtually every major poker site offers their own version of the game. These games are great and offer players the chance to get more hands in, which is crucial if you are short on time and looking to do more with your time.
The thing is though, it may be that these games are taken away from players before they really get to know them. This is down to the fact that The Rational Group, which is the company that owns PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, has been granted a patent for “fast-fold poker”. Full Tilt Poker was the first online site to provide this form of poker and this decision could have an impact on what plenty of online poker sites are able to provide.
Poker stars get fast-fold patent – May 2014
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted the Rational Group a patent for fast-fold poker. As a result, competitors of the industry leader could end up at a disadvantage when similar products are offered in the USA. At present, PokerStars is also lacking a license allowing it to operate on the regular online poker part in the USA. Nevertheless, it has a trump card in light in the fact that the United States Patent and Trademark Office approved a patent for the Rational Group for fast-fold poker varieties.
Full speed ahead for some poker sites
The patent is going to focus on Zoom Poker, which is currently on offer at the PokerStars site. It is as of yet uncertain whether the patent will also cover Rush Poker, which is the version provided by Full Tilt. If it doesn’t, you can bet that the firm will just use their own intellectual property on the Full Tilt Poker site. While it is believed that this patent will have no impact on poker sites that are based outside of America, it certainly causes a few issues for online poker sites in the USA. This means that firms like Full Flush may have to look at what they offer and whether they need to make changes to one of the most popular games on offer from online poker sites at the moment.
US sites that are offering this style of game, or a variant of it, will need to reach an agreement with The Rational Group or stop using it. This is going to have a financial impact on a number of sites and there may not be the desire to find out the full cost of paying for this style of gaming. With many poker sites still coming to terms with the cost of setting up their service, it may well be that additional costs of an unexpected nature like this will be too much or not worth putting up with. However, the fact that so many online poker players love playing this style of poker means that some sites will feel as though they have no choice but to stump up the money.
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Get more money for your money from Titan Casino
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Given that there are a large number of people who appear to be opposed to online poker in the United States, it is inevitable that there will be some parts of the media who will focus on the negative side of online poker. It has to be said that not everyone can play online poker and remain in full control of their finances or decision making. While the vast majority of poker players know when to say enough is enough, there will be some who keep on playing, placing themselves and their families at risk. This is something that will be brought up against online poker and it is clearly an area for the activity to work harder at. While it may be a small number of people who are affected in this way, there is a need for online poker sites and companies to support their players.
However, in the balance of fairness, it is important that the media which reports the negative elements of online poker reports the positive elements of online poker as well. Some people may say that there are no positive elements of online poker but this would be extremely wrong. Given how many politicians and lawmakers are so woefully out of touch, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see people forming this opinion but there is genuinely a lot more to online poker than just ruining lives! In some cases, online poker can go a long way to helping people rebuild their lives and to getting people back on track. This is something that not many news portals have focused on but PartyPoker NJ has been working hard to give something back. Just as importantly, the site is aiming to give a lot more back in 2014.
US online poker can help people out
The site held its first “Restore The Shore” tournament on the 4th of January. Given the festive period, it is understandable that some people may have missed this but it was a tournament aimed at providing aid and assistance for the ongoing recovery process surrounding Hurricane Sandy. This is a project which PartyPoker NJ is working together with Hometown Heroes, a non-profit organisation. The “Restore The Shore” series takes its name from an on-going charity endeavour which shares the same name. When it comes to real money poker US stories, this is definitely one of the feel-good stories so far of 2014 and it is important that the online poker community is acknowledged for their hard work. It is not as if the poker community is going to be able to provide a solution to the problems caused by Hurricane Sandy all by themselves but at least they are willing to play a part in helping people out.
The first tournament went to benefit Seaside and there will be tournaments taking place over the next few months and each tournament will help a particular community which has been affected. The next “Restore The Shore” event takes place on Saturday the 1st of February and it will be aiding Toms River and Ortley Beach. After this, Saturday the 1st of March is the date in question and Brick will be receiving support on this date. Saturday the 5th of April is the next date to look out for and Union Beach will be the beneficiaries of that day’s poker play. Saturday the 3rd of May sees Ocean Gate benefit and Saturday the 7th of June is the day when Lavalette benefits.
Every entry into the tournament will generate a $20 donation to the cause. Players buy-in at $20 with $10 of this going to the charity and the other $10 goes to the prize pool. The additional $10 comes from a matching donation which is being made for every entry into the event.
In a highly competitive industry, it is no surprise to see that new methods and ways to play are being introduced on online casino sites all the time. There have been plenty of great innovations in recent times but one of the most popular of the modern innovations has to be live dealer casinos. The fact that you can play at home and engage with live dealers is a great boon for many casino players but what are the real benefits? It cannot be just the fact that there is a good looking woman or man playing the role of the dealer on your computer screen.
There are plenty of other benefits that come from having an actual dealer play the game. One of the most important steps forward provided by live casino dealers is the fact that people feel safer when playing. This is slightly silly because online casinos have to undergo rigorous testing to make sure that the games on offer are fair and legitimate. Online casinos have to work very hard to make sure that they offer everything above board and there should be any concerns or doubts about what is on offer from these sites.
There is a better feeling of fairness with live casino dealers
However, there is no doubt that some casino players will have concerns about what an online casino site provides with respect to fairness. A lot of this is down to the fact that many people don’t trust what they cannot see. The fact that you can see a physical dealer spin the wheel for the roulette game or turn over the cards in blackjack provides casino players with an added sense of confidence. If players were hesitant about playing online casino games because they were unsure about the veracity of the games, live casino dealers provide an added level of comfort and confidence.
There is also a lot to be said for the social dimension that these players add to the online gaming experience. There are many huge benefits that come from playing online casino games but it lacks something special that normal casino sites provide you. There is a lot to be said about the glamour, excitement and hustle that can be found in a standard casino. It is nigh on impossible to replicate that at home for online players but the appearance of a glamorous dealer can often add something to the gaming experience.
The fact that the dealer can interact with players will also help to engage players more. There is no doubt that these games provide a more in-depth casino gaming experience for players, which can only help introduce more people to online gaming.