Dutch gaming administration Kansspelautoriteit has sent a letter to gambling regulators explaining how the current regulatory system works and warns that some of the licensees may face fines and other enforcement actions against the provision of unregulated online gambling and betting services to Dutch customers.
The letter, signed by Kansspelautoriteit CEO Marja Appelman, provided information on the current state of the online gambling market in the Netherlands and a request for help and cooperation from other regulators as the country struggles with unregulated transactions.
The Dutch gaming regulator has also clarified the use of the terms “illegal”, “unlicensed” and “unregulated”, stating that in the context of the gambling industry, they are used for any activity that is not permitted under the Dutch Gambling Act. According to the current gambling legislation, the provision of online gambling is illegal, as are the activities of international online gambling operators targeting local players.
The regulator warned that some of the gambling companies licensed by regulators in other countries could be fined and subject to other sanctions in the Netherlands if found guilty of violating established gambling rules.
A somewhat unexpected step, Kansspelautoriteit introduced last summer, drawing up a set of new rules according to which the provision of gaming services was to be ensured. In general, the new rules prohibit unlicensed operators from targeting Dutch players to use Dutch national symbols, including tulips and windmills, and through gambling sites with the .nl extension.
In the letter, Kansspelautoriteit asked its fellow regulators to warn their licensees that it is illegal to provide online gaming services without a Dutch regulator’s license in the Netherlands.
Kansspelautoriteit has also encouraged gambling companies to block Dutch IP addresses and prevent Dutch players from opening accounts on their sites. This way they can avoid fines and lawsuits from the gambling regulator.
Holland is working to open up its market to licensed online gambling, but the progress is rather slow. The country’s new regulatory framework was approved by the Dutch lower house in the summer of 2016, but the Senate never adopted it.
Recently, gambling lawmakers and regulators have expressed optimism that much-needed action will be taken this year and that the new law will take effect in early 2019.
The new regulatory system will give Kansspelautoriteit the authority to issue licenses to interested international operators and regulate the industry in a socially responsible manner.