August 28, 2023
In the first half of 2023, the Dutch gaming authority, Kansspelautoriteit (Ksa), carried out several successful interventions to reduce illegal gambling offers. The Ksa reports that these efforts have resulted in the identification of various violations, the imposition of sanctions, and the introduction of new investigative methods.
To address illegal online gambling activities, the Ksa utilizes a . They have imposed penalty payments on three providers this year due to their failure to stop the violations in a timely manner. In addition to penalty payments, the Ksa can also impose administrative fines. In 2022, eight fines were imposed on illegal online gambling providers, amounting to nearly 30 million euros. These fines were made public in the spring of 2023, and additional fines are currently being prepared.
According to the Ksa, illegal gambling providers rely on advertising to expand their player networks, a practice prohibited under the Wet op de Kansspelen (Wok) or gambling act. These advertisements frequently target vulnerable players and circumvent Cruks, the central exclusion register. To address this, the Ksa initiated an investigation into the eight most visited websites advertising unlicensed online casinos and websites offering guidance on bypassing Cruks. Four of these websites were found to be in violation, and the Ksa will take enforcement action against them. Notice and Takedown procedures are employed, or the website operators are requested to make their websites inaccessible to Dutch users through mandatory enforcement interventions.
According tot he Ksa, illegal providers also resort to advertising on social media platforms to attract players. In the first half of 2023, they conducted 32 investigations into illegal social media offerings, focusing on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. Established or suspected violations were reported to the parent company Meta, leading to the immediate closure of relevant pages and accounts.
The Ksa has observed a growing trend of illegal gambling providers accepting cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, as a payment method online. To address this issue, Ksa inspectors have expanded their investigations to include cryptopayments. Bitcoins were utilized in six different investigations in the first half of 2023 to determine violations. Subsequently, sanctions were imposed in all these cases, resulting in the cessation of illegal gambling activities targeted at the Netherlands.
As the Dutch iGaming market faces increasing scrutiny and enforcement actions from the Ksa, also licensed operators facing the Dutch market must prioritize compliance to operate legally and ethically. Moreover, at EM Group, we recognize that with illegal offerings, the players’ money will not be safe. Our compliance services include invaluable support to clients in navigating the complex regulatory landscape and staying up-to-date with the Ksa's regulations and updates with regards to the separation of their player funds. By partnering with us, iGaming operators can ensure that their operations align with the latest requirements, minimizing the risk of penalties and sanctions. Our comprehensive compliance solutions offer a proactive approach to regulatory compliance, enabling clients to focus on delivering a safe and enjoyable gambling experience to Dutch players. Have you heard about the latest addition to our service portfolio?
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The Ksa's periodic update approach to combating illegal gambling offers in the Netherlands seems to have been effective in the first half of 2023. Through enforcement measures, such as penalty payments and fines, as well as targeted investigations, the Ksa aims to continue protecting Dutch consumers and maintain a fair and regulated iGaming market. With the assistance of EM Group's compliance service, iGaming operators can confidently navigate the evolving regulatory landscape and ensure their operations comply with the regulations and updates enforced by the Ksa. On our part, at EM Group, we work towards a secure and responsible iGaming environment in the Netherlands.
Written by Karin Beumer
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