Gaming operators in the Netherlands were woken up to a warning from Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) chair, Rene Jansen, that they had been granted increase authority from the state to tackle gambling-related crimes
Articles 34a and 34n of the recently passed Remote Gambling Act in the Netherlands increased the toolkit allowed for the KSA to throw its weight around.
Focusing on online-based gaming companies, the regulator is now entitled to go undercover and act as a consumer using the product or service being provided. Think of this as a sort of “mystery shopper” at a restaurant.
Going for their financials is also a new method being implemented by the KSA. Financial service providers will now be obligated to comply with demands to stop working with illegal gambling sites. The KSA previously only had the authority to make suggestions.
These new powers include the potential for the shutting down of brick-and-mortar establishments pending future investigations. The new powers extend to the point of home searches without permission and the seizing of objects that the inspectors consider valid for the related investigation.
Rene Jansen said: “These are the extra powers that the KSA has been given to combat illegality and crime. In addition to protecting consumers and preventing gambling addiction, this is one of the main legal tasks of the Ksa.
“With regard to Dutch gambling policy, there is more going on than just the imminent legalization and regulation of online games of chance. Other parts of the new legislation also contribute to creating a safe environment for people who want to participate in games of chance as much as possible.”
The KSA recently hit Nederlandse Loterij with a €10,000 penalty for advertising its product to minors.
Fining Nederlandse Loterij
This warning came on the cuff of the KSA handing a €10,000 fine to Lotto NL for advertising its product to minors. Specifically, the regulator found advertisements of its EuroJackpot game on their girlscene.nl website, which is reported to be primarily aimed towards minors.
Lotto NL are a subsidiary of Nederlandse Loterij (NLO).
KSA first issued a cease and desist order on its advertising campaign, and compelled NLO to ensure that this does not repeat itself through preventative measures.
“The KSA continues to monitor whether games of chance providers target vulnerable groups, such as minors, with their advertisements,” the regulator said.
“If this is the case, the KSA can take enforcement action. Providers are always responsible for all their advertisements, even if they have their advertisements taken care of via third parties such as advertising agencies.”
The KSA have been on a tear since the Remote Gambling Act passed. Apart from the above, last month they also announced that there will be a Central Register of Exclusion of Games of Chance – called Cruks.
The idea is that players on the register will be involuntarily excluded from certain forms of gambling. This will be put in place from October 1st, whereby companies will be compelled to cross-reference players with the Cruks register to ensure the players’ safety.
Family members, employers or even gaming providers could submit a request for players to be registered.
“It should also be clear that less drastic measures will not help. We realise these are major decisions. That is why we have developed a careful procedure in the Policy Rules for Involuntary Enrolment,” the KSA explained.
The next SiGMA iGathering networking event will be held in Riga. The dinner, which is planned for the 26th of August, at 19:00, is set to take place at the stunning Royal Casino. The evening will also welcome guests from neighbouring countries Estonia and Lithuania, tapping into a wide network of the region’s top industry thinkers.