Newsletter - Dutch Lower House demands that government moves quickly on online gambling advertising

REMINDER | GiH Webinar: Essential services in a regulated market

Next week, on Wednesday, February 23 at 3PM CET we have scheduled a vendors’ webinar, where suppliers of necessary services will showcase their products and services.


If you are looking to enter the regulated Dutch online market or to expand your services portfolio, but haven't yet found all the suppliers you need, this may be the webinar for you!


The following suppliers (and speakers) have confirmed their participation:

· CDDN (KYC), Martijn de Boer

· EM Group (corporate compliance), Kees-Jan Avis

· IDNow (KYC), Max Irwin

· Maxima Compliance (technical compliance), Antonio Zhangi


Attorney-at-law Kester Mekenkamp (Kalff Katz & Franssen) will provide a general introduction on third-party suppliers and regulatory compliance.


Don't miss it: register today: https://bit.ly/34AGDZW


Netherlands Gambling Authority issues three new remote gaming licenses

The Dutch regulator issued two new licenses to subsidiaries of the JVH gaming & entertainment Group. Previously, JVH received a license for its Jacks.nl brand. Possibly, the two new licenses will be used to launch an online version of Flash Casino and either an exclusive VIP casino, or a betting website that will be launched in cooperation with leading Dutch football magazine Voetbal International.


The third new license was issued to ZEbetting & Gaming, the only operator currently allowed to offer bets on Dutch horseraces. Paul Klomp, Director ZEbetting & Gaming Netherlands, commented: “I am very pleased that after 24 years as a horse totalizer, we are now able to offer betting on all other sports to Dutch sports enthusiasts. We need two more weeks to get everything ready, but from March 1 onward, our digital sports doors will open.”


Dutch land-based casinos to re-open

Due to the lifting of Covid restrictions, Dutch land-based gaming venues will be allowed re-open starting Friday, February 18.


The following week, on Friday February 25, all remaining restrictions on opening hours will be lifted and visitors will no longer be required (with limited exceptions for large-scale venues) to show a coronavirus entry pass.


Netherlands Gambling Authority finds fault with advertising policies of 10 out of 11 online licensees

During recent months, the Netherlands Gambling Authority has carried out checks on the advertising policies of all licensed online operators. The checks were carried out with a special focus on the protection of vulnerable persons, such as minors and young adults.

Three licensees received official warnings for proposing to advertise on websites or around broadcasted content aimed at minors, including the Dutch-language Donald Duck website – likely due to oversights on behalf of these operators’ media partners.


Seven other licensees were found to have committed minor rule breaches. Finally, one licensee was provided with a recommendation to improve its policies.

The identities of the cautioned licensees were not revealed.


Netherlands-licensed Batavia Casino rebrands as Kansino

Batavia Casino, one of the Netherlands’ first licensed online casino operators, will rebrand as Kansino from February 17 onward. Batavia Casino is owned by Malta and Estland-based Play North.


Play North CEO Klas Winberg: “We discovered that our brand Batavia caused confusion among consumers. This does not fit with who we want to be. We want our brand name to reflect our proposition and to distinguish ourselves from other companies in the Netherlands. It is our duty to head off confusion and ambiguity, and to be clear about what kind of company we are.”


The sudden rebranding comes as a major surprise as Play North spent over €8m on broadcast advertising since October 2021 to promote its brand. It is therefore possible that the rebranding comes as the result of a trademark dispute.


OKTO and REAC join forces to provide land-based gaming sector with cashless payment solution

OKTO has entered into a strategic agreement with Rotterdam-based REAC to provide the Dutch land-based gaming machine market with cashless payment services.


As a result of the deal, OKTO’s cashless payments technology has been integrated into REAC’s management and monitoring system available in more than 25,000 gaming machines across over 200 venues in the Netherlands.


Einar Waegemaekers, Managing Partner at REAC said: “I am excited to confirm this partnership between two market-leading brands. Both organizations are pioneers and constantly exploring new ways of delivering safe, secure and seamless services to the gaming industry.”


NOGA and AGOG leadership launch new podcast series

NOGA director Peter-Paul de Goeij and AGOG chair Feite Hofman have together launched a new podcast series “Feitmans & PeePee.” The podcast brings together two different voices, representing the perspectives of the gambling industry and the problem gambling prevention sector, respectively.


The first episode, which is available here, addresses the issue of gambling advertising, and also features OneTime's Armijn Meijer as a special guest.

Additional episodes are expected to be released soon.


Upcoming events

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

· ICE 2022 remains confirmed for April 12-14.

· EASG 2022, the 13th European Conference on Gambling Studies and Policy Issues, has now been scheduled for 6 – 9 September 2022, and will take place in Oslo, Norway.


Dutch Lower House demands that government moves quickly on online gambling advertising ban

Yesterday, the Dutch Lower House adopted a motion calling on the government to implement a ban on all untargeted advertising for online gambling services “as quickly as possible.” The motion was submitted by MP Michiel van Nispen (SP).


Last week, Van Nispen clarified his demands during a debate that also involved Minister for Legal Protection, Franc Weerwind.


According to Van Nispen, the proposed ban would need to include all broadcast and most internet advertising for online gambling services. The ban would not extend to sport sponsorships or land-based gambling services. The ban, moreover, would need to come into force by April 1 at the latest.


Weerwind, however, observed that such a wide-ranging ban would require new legislation, a process that normally (because of a series of mandatory consultations) takes up to two years to conclude. Van Nispen, in turn, demanded emergency legislation in order to meet his April 1 deadline.


A ban on online gambling advertising instituted under these conditions would, however, almost certainly be illegal. First, it does not appear that the sudden increase in online gambling advertising qualifies as an unforeseen emergency that would justify expedited legislation and the disregarding of normal legislative safeguards – especially since advertising volumes have already decreased due to industry self-regulation.


Second, legislation that would ban the (broadcast) advertising of online gambling services, while leaving land-based gambling advertising alone is all but guaranteed to fail the criterion of “horizontal consistency,” i.e., products with similar risk profiles must receive similar legislative treatment.


Not coincidentally, a recent study on the possibility of banning gambling advertising that was commissioned by the Ministry of Justice and Security observes that any such bans must be "consistent and proportional,” adding that (p. 24) “[a] measure is more likely to pass the proportionality test [as demanded by the ECHR] if decent debate has taken place, the national legislature has investigated the cultural, political and legal aspects of a measure, and the national legislator has considered the proposed restrictions with sufficient care.”


Weerwind was asked to respond to the motion submitted by Van Nispen c.s. and inform the Lower House regarding the government's proposed course of action within one week.

In related news, the Lower House also adopted a different motion asking the government to introduce more detailed rules on mandatory spending and playing time limits.


The current rules were primarily designed to raise awareness among players during the registration process by forcing them to consider the amount of time and money they wish to spend on gambling. As such, there are currently no legal maximums, and players are able, for instance, to opt for a maximum playing time of 24 hours per day.