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Dutch government informs Parliament over remote gambling developments ...and more!

Netherlands Gambling Authority issues 14 warnings over unauthorized World Cup marketing

In recent weeks, the Netherlands Gambling Regulator has issued a total of 14 warnings over World Cup-related gambling advertising.

This includes warnings to TOTO and BetCity over ads shown in a game that allows players to start a personalized football pool. According to the regulator, it is not allowed to advertise through games since these generally attract minors and young adults.

The regulator also issued warnings over the use of role models and the promotion of bets while a game was in progress.

LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER | GIH Breakfast Briefing – December 14

Join us on Wednesday December 14 in The Hague for the 2022 Gaming in Holland Breakfast Briefing to hear more about the latest developments regarding the regulated Dutch gambling market.

During this briefing we will discuss the long-awaited Parliamentary letter in which Minister for Legal Protection, Franc Weerwind outlines the government's proposals for implementing new advertising and player protection measures.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • René Jansen, Chair, Netherlands Gambling Authority

  • Niels Onkenhout, CEO, Nederlandse Loterij

  • Petra de Ruiter, CEO, Holland Casino

  • Fedor Meerts, Head of Department, Ministry of Justice and Security

  • Justin Franssen, Partner, Kalff Katz & Franssen

  • Eric Konings, Policy Advisor, NOGA

Register now: RSVP

While attendance is FREE, please note that places are limited. If the number of registrations exceeds the available space, sponsors and paid GiH Conference attendees will be given priority.

Holland Casino brings appeal over Netherlands Gambling Authority AML ruling to Council of State

Holland Casino has asked the Council of State, the Netherlands’ highest administrative court, to reconsider a ruling by the Netherlands Gambling Authority (subsequently confirmed by the Rotterdam District Court) over a series of alleged Wwft (Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act) failings in 2019.

Holland Casino claims that the Dutch gambling regulator failed to apply the Wwft correctly. The state-owned operator furthermore requests legal clarification as to how this legislation should apply to gambling operators. A ruling by the Council of State could thus have wide-ranging implications for all licensed gambling operators in the Netherlands.

Peter-Paul de Goeij, Director of trade association NOGA, commented that operators are under the impression that the Netherlands Gambling Authority also employs the Wwft as a tool to prevent gambling harm, “something for which this legislation was not intended.”

Holland Casino ordered to remove land-based casino ads from its iGaming website

In a decision that was only made public recently, the Netherlands Gambling Authority ordered Holland Casino in October 2021 to remove ads for its land-based casinos from its iGaming website.

Dutch regulations stipulate that online operators may only promote services on their iGaming websites that fall under the scope of their remote gaming licenses. According to the Dutch regulator, this includes weblinks leading to more information about an operator's land-based gambling venues.

Holland Casino was also handed a conditional penalty payment of €25,000. The state-owned operator subsequently contested the gambling authority's decisions, including the public disclosure of its rulings.

The matter is currently under judicial review.

Government review of Netherlands Gambling Authority identifies areas for improvement

A review report commissioned by the Dutch government found the performance of the Dutch gambling regulator to be “satisfactory” during the past five years.

The report, however, also found that the regulator was unable to dedicate sufficient attention and resources to (illegal) land-based gambling and that its capacity was “too limited” to properly tackle illegal online gambling. Furthermore, the report found that the regulator had perhaps distanced itself too much from the online gambling sector, which could cause the body to lose touch with the sector it is supposed to regulate.

The report also included a list of recommendations, including:

  • The strengthening of its risk-based supervision procedures

  • The improvement of its monitoring and effect measurement process

  • The development of a strategy to take a more data-based approach

  • The implementation of a workable task allocation in the area of addiction prevention

The full report is available here.

Upcoming events

  • SLICKS, an advocacy group for (former) gamblers, in cooperation with the Municipality of Amsterdam and Cliëntenbelang Amsterdam, will host the first-ever Amsterdam Gambling & Awareness Congress (AG&AC) on December 15.

  • ICE London 2023 will take place February 7-9, 2023. Meet us there on February 8 for the Gaming in Germany Breakfast and Gaming in Holland Lunch. Save the date!

  • The European Casino Awards, timed to coincide with ICE 2023, will be awarded on February 7, 2023, at The Grand Connaught Rooms, Covent Garden, London.

Dutch government informs Parliament over remote gambling developments

In a long-awaited Parliamentary letter, Minister for Legal Protection, Franc Weerwind informed the Dutch Lower House on the latest developments regarding the country's online gambling market.

The letter does not include specific proposals for additional restrictions on licensed online gambling operators. However, several new studies were announced that could lead to such restrictions in the future. The letter discusses the following topics:

  • Market developments. Onshore online GGR is expected to reach c. €1bn in 2022, approximately 70% of the total (onshore plus offshore) online market. Web traffic to unlicensed operators has been steadily declining. In July, there were around 560,000 active player accounts. The Netherlands Gambling Authority is currently investigating how many active players this represents. The outcome of this study is expected in Q1 2023.

  • Advertising. A proposal to ban untargeted online gambling advertising and (from 2025) sports sponsorships is currently under review by the Council of State.

  • Addiction prevention. The Ministry of Justice is currently coordinating with the Ministry of Health to devise a joint gambling addiction approach. The outcome of these consultations is expected to be made public in the spring of 2023. More money has been deposited to the Gambling Addiction Prevention Fund than originally anticipated. An increase in gambling addiction prevention levies is currently unnecessary. The Netherlands Gambling Authority will publish the outcomes of its ongoing study into the implementation of licensed operators' duty of care measures in Q1 2023.

  • Deposit limits. The Ministry of Justice is currently investigating the implementation of a mandatory upper limit for deposit limits. Cross-operator limits are currently deemed to be too complex to implement due to technical limitations and privacy concerns. New concept regulations are expected to be made public in H1 2023.

  • CRUKS. The Ministry announced “CRUKS 2.0” which is expected to make the self-exclusion process significantly easier. Testing is scheduled to commence soon.

  • Netherlands Gambling Authority. In the coming years, the Dutch regulator will be able to expand by c. 15%, up to the equivalent of a total of 135-140 fulltime staff.

Other news

The Netherlands Online Gambling Association (NOGA) has launched a new charity campaign to help sports clubs with their heating bills.

Law firm Kalff Katz & Franssen, represented by the Netherlands’ leading gambling lawyer, Justin Franssen, has won VIXIO Gabling Compliance's “Best Regulatory Law Firm of the Year” award.

The Dutch Public Prosecutor's Office is seeking to recover more than €23m from the founders of now-defunct Sheriff Gaming, who were previously convicted of running an illegal gambling business and money laundering.

Approximately 100 (former) players seek to recover their losses from online operators who offered their services in the Netherlands without a license.

Denmark’s gambling regulator has banned the use of reactivation bonuses for lapsed players, as part of its new responsible gambling guidance.


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