Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Dutch Gambling Authority, has issued a cease and desist order to 2 nationally significant lottery providers in the (Postcode Loterij) National Postcode Lottery and the VriendenLoterij (Friends Lottery).
Both lottery operators have been found guilty by the KSA of providing games of chance on their websites, a form of gambling which is not included in the provisions of the lottery licence, iterations of which the pair both hold.
The plethora of games in question are Deal or No Deal, Suitcase Hunt, One against 50 and Move That Truck provided by the National Postcode Lottery along with, Lottery Millionaires, Clubman and even Bingo Crush from the Friends Lottery.
These were all noted by the KSA in a release stating, “Legislation and regulations make a clear distinction between lotteries and more risky games of chance, including online games of chance.”
The KSA explained how these games are not prohibited by Dutch law under all circumstances, however, this instance violates Article 1 of the Games of Chance Act, meaning any operators would require an alternate licence, hence the fact that the lottery licence does not cover games of chance operating in a digital environment.
In actual fact under Article 31, lotteries in general, are not permitted to be offered online. The only provision that the lottery license provides in terms of online activity is the distribution and sale of remote participation tickets.
All other provisions mentioned and individual to this stipulation would require the acquisition of a remote gaming license to be deemed legal activity.
The order issued by the KSA has set both lottery operators a deadline concluding on June 13th to cease and desist from offering their illicit online games of chance. Failing to do so would result in both providers being subject to a fine of €250,000 ($268,105) per week, with a maximum penalty of €1m ($1.072m).
The KSA re-iterated the seriousness of the lack of foresight shown by both lottery operators, citing safety concerns related to consumer protections, claiming that lotteries without having to provide proof of the necessary apparatus to defend consumers from the risks involved along with adequate supervision to acquire the necessary permissions, should not be adding any extra types of games to their roster.
In response to this statement from the KSA, both operators have claimed they will appeal the decision and offered a joint rebuttal to the regulatory body, expressing how the games in question are free-to-play lottery games, which are a form of entertainment that most certainly conforms to the safe nature of a non-profit lottery that aims to raise funds for good causes.
The statement concluded:
For the past 30 years, participants have always been able to participate in additional games in this way, whether or not via the mail, the internet, in special apps or live. Nothing is won by playing one of the games itself. In the games, like a traditional lottery, participants only receive a prize after a draw has taken place. With this, the games meet the requirements of the lottery licence.
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