Kansspelautoriteit – Netherlands Gaming Authority, sent a letter to fellow gambling regulators, providing explanation of how its current regulatory system functions and warning that some of their licensees could face fines and other enforcement actions against the provision of unregulated online gambling and betting services to Dutch customers.
Signed by Kansspelautoriteit CEO Marja Appelman, the letter contained information about the current state of the Netherlands’ online gambling market, and requested assistance and cooperation from fellow gambling regulators as the country is cracking down on unregulated operations.
The Dutch gaming regulator also provided clarity over its use of the terms “illegal”, “unlicensed”, and “unregulated”, by saying that in the context of nation’s gambling industry these are used for any activity that is not permitted under the Dutch Betting and Gaming Act. Under the country’s existing gambling law, the provision of games of chance via the Internet is illegal, and so are the activities of international online gambling operators targeting local players.
The regulator also warned that some of the gambling companies licensed by its fellow regulatory bodies in other countries could be subjected to fines and other penalties in the Netherlands, if they are found to be acting in breach of established gambling regulations in the nation.
In a somewhat surprising move, Kansspelautoriteit introduced last summer a set of new rules under which the provision of gambling services was to be conducted from that point on. In general, the new regulations ban unlicensed operators from targeting Dutch players through the use of Dutch national symbols, including tulips and windmills, as well as through gambling-oriented websites with a .nl extension.
In its letter, Kansspelautoriteit asked its fellow regulators to warn their licensees that the provision of online gaming services without a license from the Dutch regulator is illegal in the Netherlands, and that they should comply with rules or otherwise face enforcement actions.
Kansspelautoriteit also encouraged gambling companies to block Dutch IP addresses and prevent Dutch players from opening accounts with their websites. Thus, they can avoid penalties and legal actions from the gambling regulator, the letter further read.
The Netherlands has been working toward opening its market for licensed online gambling operations, but has progressed quite slowly to say the least. The country’s new regulatory framework was approved by the Dutch Lower House back in the summer of 2016, but the Senate also needs to act before it comes into effect.
Lawmakers and gambling regulators have recently expressed optimism that the much-needed actions will be undertaken this year and that the new law will take effect at the beginning of 2019.
The new regulatory system will give Kansspelautoriteit the authority to issue licenses to interested international operators and to regulate the industry in a socially responsible manner.
Source: European Gaming News