A fair warning is not how the Dutch regulator, the Kansspelautoriteit or KSA, intends to do business in the country. Rather, the watchdog will take it upon itself to verify whether websites that have been warned to suspend their offering to Dutch customers in the country have been fully compliant with the demand.
As a result, the regulator will try to access each of the 25 targeted brands from the Netherlands. If successful, sanctions will follow. The KSA has not hesitated to issue fines and other penalties to numerous prominent gambling brands over the years, even when the country’s industry was still germinating, buffeted by changing legislative drafts.
The KSA has cautioned that should it consider sanctions, it could apply them to not just the websites but also payment providers and other third-parties that direct or facilitate customers from the Netherlands who have clearly should not be able to access those offerings.
Operators Are Urged to Clean up Their Act
Recent developments have surely put the onus on operators to be compliant, as the KSA previously only demanded from operators to avoid targeting Dutch gamblers, such as offering promotions or translating their sites in Dutch. Now, however, the regulator is demanding from operators to fully suspend access for Dutch gamblers or suffer the consequences.
The KSA is one of those regulators that usually makes good on its promises, and it has been caught in legal battles with numerous gambling companies over the years. It has most recently issued a fine to Tipico. The company has denied wrongdoing. It has prompted some industry heavyweights to quickly pack up and leave, following the October 1 industry legalization, due to missing licenses.
Entain and Kindred have both confirmed that their operational results had been heavily impacted by the quick need to move their operations out of the country. Many operators have chosen to follow suit and completely suspend Dutch customers. Others such as Scientific Games have moved in.
LeoVegas, Casumo, Betsson, and 888 are just some of the brands that have been quick to act to ensure that they don’t come under the hits of the regulator. However, the watchdog has not been satisfied with the two-month grace period most operators have had and argued that many continue to ignore its request to stop targeting Dutch customers.
No Ambiguity in How KSA Does Business
To leave no room for misinterpretation, the KSA has made things simple, asking instead to suspend full access to the Netherlands. Commenting on these developments, the KSA explained that the changing nature of the gambling industry in the country, and in particular online gambling, now demands more serious measures.
Presently, the Netherlands only authorizes a total of ten companies to offer online gambling in the country. However, more are in the pipeline as the regulator is looking to introduce up to 40 gaming operators in the country, plenty to satisfy demand and negate the need for offshore gambling. Meanwhile, BetBlocker, a dedicated solution designed to protect consumers, entered the Dutch market in September.