Betsson closes down Netherlands-facing online brand Casino Winner as it awaits Dutch licensing

Sports betting and online casino operator Betsson Group has closed down its online brand Casino Winner. The site previously targeted the Dutch market but has been blocking customers in the Netherlands since the launch of the country’s regulated online gambling market, which went live in October 2021.

The site was operated through Betsson’s MGA-licensed Corona Ltd, which controls both the Casino Winner and Loyal Casino businesses. Betsson bought the two sites – which were previously known as Kroon Casino and Oranje Casino, respectively – from three entrepreneurs for €130 million ($136.8 million) in 2014. Betsson expected the re-regulation of gaming in the Netherlands at that time, but it took seven years for the new regime to become effective. 

While Casino Winner also served other markets, Betsson moved to close the brand in order to fulfill the requirements for it to be able to enter the newly regulated Dutch market. While the Dutch regulator, known as KSA, has yet to greenlight a license for Betsson, the operator expected that the closure of Casino Winner may take it closer to approval.

Kroon rebranded into Casino Winner less than a year after Betsson was fined by the regulator for “targeting” players in the Dutch market before it had opened. Among the reasons for the fine, the regulator noted that the Kroon brand name – the Dutch word for crown – suggested it was aimed at players in its jurisdiction.

The KSA issued a fine to the operator for offering games of chance to users in the Netherlands without being in possession of a local license. The fine happened within the context of the Dutch legislature moving forward with the creation of the legalized local market.   

Pontus Lindwall

At the time that the fine was announced, Pontus Lindwall, Betsson’s CEO, said: “Betsson shares KSA’s ambition to achieve a high channelization of customers into any future locally regulated environment in the Netherlands and supports the Dutch government’s ambition in moving forward with the legislative process.”