As the Dutch ban on gambling advertising approaches, scheduled to be enforced in a matter of weeks, there is a growing interest within the industry to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of the enforcement procedures. However, the country’s gambling regulatory authority has indicated that it can only offer limited guidance at this time.
During the Gaming in Holland conference, René Jansen, the chairman of Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), addressed the concerns of industry operators regarding the enforcement of new regulations. He acknowledged that many operators had raised questions about the implementation process, considering their lack of experience with the restrictions. Jansen highlighted the industry’s request for guidance from the KSA.
However, Jansen emphasized that the KSA’s ability to provide comprehensive guidance was limited, as certain aspects of the new regulations were uncharted territory for both the regulator and the industry. He acknowledged concerns about the ban potentially impacting channelization, increasing administrative workload, or leading to unexpected fines.
Jansen made it clear that the KSA would not initiate new enforcement actions without conducting thorough information gathering first. The regulator needed time to observe how the rules functioned in practice before sharing insights with operators. In the meantime, Jansen stressed that operators were responsible for compliance with the regulations, including the new rules, and should not passively wait for further explanations from the KSA.
To mitigate uncertainties, Jansen advised operators to adopt a conservative approach and refrain from extensive advertising. He emphasized the importance of operators taking the initiative to demonstrate their commitment to a fair and safe gambling market, placing player protection as a fundamental standard. Jansen urged operators not to push the boundaries but rather find a way to comply with the regulations while avoiding unnecessary risks. Given the low and fragile public confidence in the gambling industry, operators needed to prioritize building trust and fostering a secure environment.
The data regulations pertaining to gambling in the Netherlands
Jansen also raised concerns about data vaults, emphasizing the need for operators to enhance their efforts in safeguarding data. He stated that operators had been given ample time to enhance their data handling practices, and the KSA would adopt a more stringent approach.
He remarked, “While we acknowledge the technical challenges involved in providing ‘near real-time’ data in the appropriate format, we believe that sufficient time has passed to address these challenges. Consequently, if necessary, we are prepared to resort to the suspension or complete revocation of licenses. This course of action is rigorous and a last resort, but we are ready to take it if required.”
Recently, the KSA sent a letter to Fran Weerwind, the Netherlands’ Minister for Legal Protection, presenting recommendations for several amendments to Dutch gambling legislation. The KSA deemed these recommendations too significant to postpone until next year’s scheduled review of the Remote Gambling Act (ROA).
Among its urgent requests is a modification in the law to grant the KSA the authority to create fictitious identities for monitoring operators’ compliance with gambling regulations. Currently, only Holland’s National Office for Identity Data has the power to generate false IDs for surveillance purposes. The KSA argues that it should be granted the same capability to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of online gambling monitoring.