Newsletter- Dutch government to ban “untargeted” online gambling advertising from 1-1-2023 and more!

VIDEO | GiH Conference presentations: Market developments, online market opening, and match-fixing


In case you missed the 2022 Gaming in Holland Conference & Expo, we have now published video recordings of another six sessions:

Other videos, including the conference keynote speech by Netherlands Gambling Authority chair, René Jansen, are available on our YouTube channel.


Netherlands Gambling Authority issues incremental penalty of up to €4.5m to unlicensed operator

The Netherlands Gambling Authority has issued a cease-and-desist order to online operator Gammix Ltd for offering online gambling without a license in the country. If the operator does not comply with the order, it could face an incremental penalty of up to €4.5m.


An investigation by the Dutch regulator revealed that the MGA-licensed operator offered online gambling services to Dutch players through its websites rantcasino.com and nordslot.com.


Between May 16 and June 11, the two websites received more than 56,000 visits originating in the Netherlands.


Dutch Lower House adopts motion to ban video game loot boxes

A large majority of the Dutch Lower House has adopted a motion calling on the government to introduce a ban on video game loot boxes.


Earlier this year, the Council of State, the Netherlands’ highest administrative law court, sided with video game publisher EA Sports against the Netherlands Gambling Authority, and ruled that that loot boxes in the former's FIFA game do not constitute a form of gambling as defined in the Dutch Gambling Act.


The Dutch Lower House now seeks to close off game publishers’ opportunities for offering such loot boxes.


Curaçao finance minister undeterred by possibility of market exits due to stricter standards

Curaçao Finance Minister Javier Silvania said that operators pulling out of the jurisdiction as a result of the planned introduction of stricter gambling regulations “will not be missed.”


The island nation (and constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands) is poised to create a new regulator, the Curaçao Gambling Authority (CGA), which will oversee licensing and enforcement. The CGA will replace the current system, whereby four private entities hold master licenses from the government, and offer sub-licenses to operators with little to no further government oversight.


Recently, the Dutch Minister for Legal Protection said in response to Parliamentary questioning that Curaçao's current licensing system is “a threat to regulated markets.”


Dutch government to ban “untargeted” online gambling advertising from January 1, 2023

The Dutch government has announced plans to ban all “untargeted” online gambling advertising from January 1, 2023, onward. The proposed ban includes broadcast, outdoor, and print advertising, as well as all online advertising that could reach vulnerable groups.


The ban will extend to event sponsorships from January 1, 2024, onward, and sports sponsorship from January 1, 2025, onward.


Advertising for land-based gambling is excluded from the proposed ban, which – as online gambling does not appear to be inherently riskier than land-based gambling – raises concerns regarding the proportionality and horizontal consistency of the proposed regulation. In addition, operators in the possession of both a land-based and online license would enjoy a significant advantage over their online-only competitors in creating brand awareness.


Surprisingly, the government also intends to introduce the proposed ban through a revision of already existing lower regulation (the “Decree gambling advertising and gambling addiction prevention”). Earlier, Franc Weerwind, Minister for Legal Protection, wrote to the Dutch Lower House that new primary legislation would be introduced.


At present, no changes in primary legislation have been announced and, in any case, it seems exceedingly doubtful that new primary legislation or legislative amendments could enter into force as early as January 1, 2023.


The proposed advertising restrictions are currently in public consultation.


Other news

The Netherlands Gambling Authority has reminded licensed operators that games of chance may only be offered if operators are in possession of active PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) certificates, which are only valid for a limited time.


Evolution Gaming has partnered with Unibet to create a new Dutch-speaking branded studio including Baccarat, Casino Hold ‘em and Blackjack tables.


Leading Dutch football magazine, Voetbal International has partnered with Unibet.


Macau has closed all its casinos following the continued rise in Covid-19 cases.