Netherlands Gambling Authority Fines GVC’s Bwin Brand €350k

The Netherlands Gambling Authority has issued a €350,000 fine to GVC-owned subsidiary bwin for offering online gambling services to Dutch customers.

When employees of the Dutch regulator visited the operator’s website in August 2018 and January 2019, they found that players from the Netherlands, contrary to players from e.g. the US, Poland, and Portugal, were not explicitly excluded.

Bwin also offered the iDEAL payment service, which requires a Dutch bank account.

At a hearing held in June 2019, representatives from bwin alleged that former Netherlands Gambling Authority Marja Appelman had said during her appearance at the 2017 Gaming in Holland Conference that operators who only passively accepted Dutch customers would not face enforcement action.

However, the Netherlands Gambling Authority maintained that Appelman was quoted selectively and that the operator could have known that offering gambling services to Dutch consumers was not allowed.

In related news, the Netherlands Gambling Authority also took action against more than twenty affiliate websites that were aimed at Dutch consumers.

 

Speel Verantwoord CEO Calls for Self-Regulation in Gambling Advertising Market

Dutch trade association Speel Verantwoord recently appointed Peter-Paul de Goeij as its new CEO, replacing long-standing CEO Rutger-Jan Hebben.

In this interview with EGR Compliance, De Goeij talks about his intention to attract new members (in addition to current members such as bet365, Flutter Entertainment, GVC Holdings, Betsson, and Kindred), as well as the need for voluntary advertising restrictions when the regulated online market opens:

“[I]n the Netherlands, what we do not want is to inundate and irritate consumers with       gambling advertising. The percentage share of the Dutch incumbent gambling operators (this is including all the lotteries) in Dutch advertising is already high and it has been high for decades. […]

What I suggest is to effectively self-regulate the gambling advertising market and get to a system of gambling advertising volume control. To be successful, I would suggest inviting and involving the media companies that sell advertising as well. That will greatly increase effectiveness. The window of opportunity to do this before the effective start of the market is currently open, but it closes slowly but surely and I think we should not waste any time to get this sorted as quickly as possible.”

 

Registration for “Women and Gambling Addiction” Mini Event to Open Soon!

Holland Casino, in cooperation with Gaming in Holland and Assissa Consultancy, will organize a discussion meeting on the topic of women and problem gambling on September 25, 2019.

In most western countries, overall problem gambling rates have remained flat or fell slightly over the past few years. However, the number of women with severe gambling problems appears to be sharply on the rise.

In order to raise awareness of this growing problem and to indicate the way forward on possible solutions, Holland Casino, Gaming in Holland, and Assissa Consultancy will jointly organize a mini conference on the topic of women and gambling addiction on September 25, 2019.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Liz Karter, the UK’s leading therapist in gambling addiction in women
  • Janny Wierda, Director of Security at Holland Casino
  • Pieter Remmers, responsible gaming expert and CEO of Assissa Consultancy Europe

Registration will open soon. Stay tuned!

 

Upcoming Events

The following events may be of interest to members of the GiH community.

  • The Trimbos Instituut, a Dutch non-profit research and knowledge center for mental health and addiction, will organize an afternoon session on online gambling on August 22 in Hilversum.
  • The IMGL Autumn 2019 Conferencetakes place September 11–13 in Munich.
  • Betting on Sports 2019, the world’s largest sports betting conference & exhibition, will be held 17 – 20 September, 2019, in London. Betting on Sports 2019 will take place concurrently with CasinoBeats Summit 2019.Members of the Gaming in Holland community can get an exclusive 25% discounton access to this year’s Betting on Sports conference & exhibition by entering the code HOLLAND25 during registration.
  • The International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) will hold its 2019 Annual Conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica from 30 September to 3 October 2019.
  • Kindred’s Sustainable Gambling Conference takes place 8 October, 2019 in Copenhagen.
  • The Responsibility in Gaming Conference, taking place 23 – 24 October, 2019 in Brussels, will focus on what operators and regulators can and should do to create an effective and workable responsible gaming policy.
  • Save the Date! VAN Kansspelen is organizing a general product exhibition on November 20, 2019 in Hotel van der Valk in Tiel. More information is available here.
  • World Regulatory Briefing now offers a series of free webinars on topics related to responsible gaming.

 

Gov’t Opens Public Consultation on Dutch Online Gambling Regulations

Dutch Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker has published the secondary regulations for the country’s online gambling market, with industry stakeholders able to submit comments on the proposed rules until 18 September.

Remote gambling license applications will cost €45,000 whether the application is successful or not.

When considering license applications, the Netherlands Gambling Authority is explicitly tasked to take into account whether operators, their policy makers, or stakeholders have violated either local or international gambling legislation.

To protect consumers, operators may not offer games that allow players to lose a sum greater than their original stake. Players must only be able to play one game at a time.

Bonuses cannot be offered while a player is gambling, and players must be given the option to opt out of bonuses.

In order to prevent match-fixing, bets on certain matches or match events may not be offered.

 

Other News

The municipal government of the city of Rotterdam intends to force the closure of almost forty establishments that operated illegal betting terminals.

 

A number of operators of illegal betting terminals in the city of The Hague were sentenced to pay fines and perform unpaid community service.

 

A major incumbent gambling operator in the Netherlands is offering “a very competitive salary” to hire a Head of Trading – Sportsbook in preparation for the future open sports betting market in the country.

 

Gambling interests “bought” the Caribbean island of Curacao, a recent BBC investigation alleges.

 

Spanish legislators are reportedly close to implementing a ban on gambling advertising.

 

Sweden’s tax agency reported that its gaming tax revenue for the first six months of 2019 is double of what the government projected while preparing for the new regulated online gambling market’s launch this January.

 

Online sport betting operators interested in acquiring a new German license will have to demonstrate that they have no connection to German-facing online casino operations.

 

A warning message attached to gambling adverts does little or nothing to reduce the amount that people bet, according to researchers from the University of Warwick’s psychology department.

 

The UK Gambling Commission has fined the Ladbrokes Coral group £5.9m for past AML and social responsibility failings.

 

The number of gamblers complaining about British betting firms has risen almost 5,000% in the past five years, according to UK Gambling Commission figures.

 

Online gambling operator 1xBet has shuttered its UK-facing site after a Sunday Times investigation sparked a local regulatory probe.

 

Online gambling group LeoVegas has strengthened its responsible gambling policies after developing plans to launch a new live chat service across its UK-facing brands in collaboration with Gambling Therapy.

 

William Hill has cited a reduction in the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) in the UK and costs associated with its expansion efforts in the US as the primary reasons behind a year-on-year dip in adjusted operating profit for the first half of its fiscal year.

 

Flutter Entertainment has reported an 18% year-on-year increase in group revenue during the first half of 2019, but also saw profit before tax slip 24%.

 

iGaming solutions giant Playtech has expanded into Portugal’s regulated online gaming market after signing a long-term partnership with local casino operator Solverde Group.

 

Yabo Sports has agreed a deal to become the first Asia-facing betting partner of English Premier League football club Manchester United.

 

Chinais stepping up efforts to prevent its citizens from gambling offshore, in a move that threatens gaming operators based in the Philippines.