Dutch Gaming Authority getting tough on unlicensed operators

One of the long stated aims of the Netherlands new Remote Gaming Bill was to, ‘funnel as many Dutch players as possible from non-regulated sites to regulated ones’.

The law is yet to come into effect (still “imminent”…as it has been for some time now) but before it does, the Dutch Gaming Authority (KSA) are going to great lengths to make sure unlicensed operators are not actively marketing to players in the Netherlands.

Late last year they began identifying operators that were most aggressively doing this, with a view to imposing fines (where possible) and various other sanctions (blocking payments, banning local advertising, adverse impact on obtaining license etc).

In their cross hairs were sites falling foul of published ‘prioritization criteria‘. Operators displaying those criteria:

  • operating ‘.nl‘ gambling domains;
  • operating Dutch language gambling sites;
  • advertising their product via mainstream media in the Netherlands (print, radio, TV etc);

were top of the scrutiny list.

Having Dutch language support services, popular local payment methods like iDeal or Dutch speaking dealers (woops) will also attract adverse KSA attention. The worst offenders have already been sanctioned and named and shamed on the KSA website.

Affiliate sites also under the gun

In an unusual step, it the KSA has now expanded their scrutiny to websites promoting sanctioned gambling sites in the Netherlands. The below notification came courtesy of the team at 888, who are no doubt patiently waiting for their license to be issued.

“…please be informed that the Dutch Gaming Authority (“KSA”) seem to be investigating affiliates which have been providing services to remote gambling operators who have received a fine from the Gaming Authority for providing unlicensed games of chance in the Netherlands (and who did so in breach of the prioritization criteria). Such affiliates may receive notices demanding that they cease providing their services to all remote gambling operators in the Netherlands (which goes beyond just fined operators), subject to a penalty payment should they fail to do so.”

This certainly broadens the KSA’s target range considerably. Beyond gambling focused review sites (like this one) the suitability of general directories, search engines and publications which would refer the bulk of Dutch traffic to gambling sites (sanctioned or otherwise) will also come into question (technically anyway).

The KSA compliance department are certainly going to have a very busy start to 2017!

With a bit of luck the new regulations and licensed operators will be up and running, giving locals a long list of approved playing options (including Dutch speaking dealers!).


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