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Silvia Pavlof June 29, 2023 3 min read
Dutch Police and Gambling Regulator Bust Illegal Poker Tournament
The swift action allowed the authorities to identify and designate the organizers as suspects
In a joint operation, the police team of Waddinxveen-Zuidplas, along with the Waddinxveen municipality and the Netherland’s gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), conducted a raid on a clubhouse in Waddinxveen on the evening of June 24. They had received information about an illegal poker event taking place at the venue.
Police Raid Uncovers Bustling Illegal Poker Tournament and Seizes Prize Pot
The raid confirmed their suspicions as they discovered a bustling poker tournament with dozens of participants. During the operation, the police seized the prize pot, which amounted to several thousand euros, as well as poker chips and heavy poker tables.
All participants were questioned as witnesses, and an ongoing investigation is currently underway. The successful crackdown on illegal gambling activities marks a productive night for the police, municipality, and the gambling regulator KSA.
This incident is not an isolated case. The KSA, in collaboration with the police, has been actively targeting illegal poker tournaments. In May, a similar raid took place at a commercial property on Nieuwpoortkade in Amsterdam-West, where illegal poker was being played. In January, four suspects were apprehended in Valkenswaard for organizing an illegal poker tournament. A month later, two individuals were arrested during an illegal cash game in Vlissingen, resulting in the seizure of €4,000 ($4,355) in cash.
Scarcity of Legal Poker Fuels Rise of Underground Games in the Netherlands
The scarcity of legal poker options in the Netherlands has contributed to the rise of underground poker games. This issue has garnered attention from media outlets, as well as criticism from within the Dutch poker community, who have expressed dissatisfaction with the limited poker offerings provided by the state-owned company.
At the same time, new gambling regulations are on their way in the Netherlands. The chairman of the KSA, Rene Jansen, discussed the upcoming changes, including the use of data vault systems and advertising restrictions, at a gaming conference in June.
The implementation of the ban on untargeted gambling advertising is imminent in the Netherlands, scheduled for July 1. The law will prohibit gambling advertisements on broadcast television, radio, and public spaces. However, targeted advertising through online platforms and on-demand television will still be allowed if operators can demonstrate that at least 95% of the audience is 24 years of age or older.
The KSA also requested updated legislation to enhance its powers in combating illegal gambling entities. The proposed changes include streamlining procedures, granting access to identity data, and reviewing outdated regulations surrounding land-based slot machines.