The Netherlands have been trying to reform the climate for iGaming operators in the country, emphasising on letting up on some of the regulation. It has been a most surprising move, especially from a place where regulation is usually taken seriously and it’s rather firm. Today, Betsson is putting all the do-gooders’ efforts under serious questioning.
One Bookmaker to Spoil It All
Let’s set the context. Just recently, Dutch Minister for Justice Sander Dekker appeared in front of a special Parliamentary committee to state that bookmakers that have been penalized for targeting Dutch gamers & bettors without having obtained the proper license beforehand are not to be given any leeway.
If this comes to pass, Betsson and MRG are going to seriously struggle with establishing their operations in the country, as they have already been fined for similar charges. However, Betsson is quite prepared to take the whole thing to court.
As per Betsson’s interpretation, a ban on the bookmaker and gaming company to un its operation in the Netherlands would go against the grain of the already stated legal framework outlined by the government. Betsson is quite daring, too, because it’s basically trying to get a waiver over one rule, but quite openly makes use of the other.
This is foul play through and through, but the legal argument exists. The question of reputation, however, remains an important one all throughout the country.
Reputation is Key to Future Operations
The Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has been pushing for a gaming industry where all operators can be trusted. This precludes allowing operators that have been known to downright flout laws. Therein lies the challenge that any operator that has been known to operate without a permission must overcome. Dekker has been rather adamant about the reputation of operators indeed, re-iterating that he won’t let go.
Betsson is already gathering legal clout to fight off this particular aspect of the legality of gaming in the country. Betsson is involved through its subsidiaries, Kroon and Oranje. Betsson claims that it has complied with “applicable laws and regulations,” as there has been no EU-wide regulation on the particular matter.
This is a double-edged sword. A victory for Betsson would mean that the industry is headed towards a course where gambling venues can do whatever they please as long as they can bend the existing regulations to their whimsy.
Conversely, clamping down on an established operator could also be a loss for customers who are familiar and already trust the companies. A different angle would be to see if the aforementioned subsidiaries have done something to implicate them in fraud.
Then a proper case against them can be made. Until then, though, it may be wiser to settle matters peacefully.
An Industry That Matters
Gambling is obviously revitalizing itself. With the qualified success that is the passing of the bill, operators will have an honest chance of turning a profit. However, legal norms must be established and those same operators ought to me them if this whole enterprise is to ever take off the ground.