Kindred Group Granted Gaming License in the Netherlands

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Kindred Group (formerly Unibet Group Plc) has announced it has obtained a gaming license for the Netherlands, completing another step in its locally regulated markets strategy.

New Local License for Kindred in the Netherlands

Some of Europe’s most successful gaming brands are brought under the umbrella of Malta-based Kindred Group. The company had been having some difficulties in the Netherlands with online gambling permissions and its financials were hit for Q1 2022. Now, however, the Netherlands gambling authority – Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) – has granted a gaming license to Kindred. Henrik Tjärnström, chief executive officer of Kindred Group, had this to say in a press statement:

“The Netherlands is a large and important European market and one that we look forward to operating in with a local license. We have been advocating local license schemes for the past decade, and are thrilled that our newly awarded license in the Netherlands will allow us to deepen and develop our involvement in the Dutch society, as well as actively contribute to a fair and sustainable gambling market. As part of our long-term ambitions and strategy, we are eager to provide a safe, secure and entertaining gambling experience for Dutch customers.”

Kindred Group CEO Henrik Tjärnström

The permission to operate on Dutch soil is effective from June 8, securing the company’s 20th local license. Obtaining those licenses for locally regulated markets is allowing for the company’s growth strategy to continue.

Needed Opportunity at the Right Time

Kindred Group is strong on its “Journey Towards Zero”, meaning its ambition is to “have zero per cent revenue from harmful gambling,” citing only a 3.3% revenue share coming from high risk customers for 1Q22, as opposed to 3.9% for the same period in 2021. The company’s intervention programs are also proving to be very effective, with in-house data pointing to 83.1% “improvement due to prevention” citing 1Q22 results, compared to 76.6% in 1Q2021.

The chief commercial officer at Kindred – Anne-Jaap Snijders’ statement was totally inline with this notion, stating:

“We are fully committed to establish Kindred’s role as a responsible, trustworthy and valuable gambling operator on the Dutch market through our flagship brand Unibet. Our corporate purpose to transform gambling by being a trusted source of entertainment that contributes positively to society’ sits at the heart of our Unibet Impact program which is solely dedicated to foster a safer and more responsible online gambling industry. We want to convey entertainment to the Dutch society and are very keen on bringing the joy and excitement of sports to everyone.”

Kindred CCO Anne-Jaap Snijders

The financial results are an entirely different matter, though. Kindred reported a 30% Q1 revenue drop back in April, mostly due to a missing iGaming license, forcing the company to do a temporary shutdown of Dutch operations. Back in November 2021, Kindred sent its licensing application and Tjärnström stressed that the licensing process is going “according to plan” when giving the full-year report for 2021.

A few months later this procedure is concluded and Kindred can start operating, but it isn’t clear how Q2 results will be affected by this. The company is hosting a Capital Markets Day (CMD) on September 14 in London where more long-term strategic announcements will be made, including operational and development plans for the newly available Dutch market.

Author: Ian Douglas