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Newsletter - Netherlands Gambling Authority to investigate 25 online gambling operators ...and more!

Dutch government announces partial lockdown, land-based casinos to close at 18:00

Due to a sharp rise in the number of Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations, the Dutch government has announced a partial lockdown until at least December 3.

The new set of measures include a 18:00 mandatory closing time for land-based gambling venues, including casinos and slot machine arcades.

All visitors of gambling venues must continue to present a valid coronavirus entry pass.

As the Dutch Parliament appears to be sharply divided about further anti-Covid measures, especially those targeting the unvaccinated, it seems likely that the current measures will be extended after December 3.

Industry representatives expressed dismay about the “disproportionate and arbitrary” measure.

Minister picks new responsible gaming slogan, overrules trade associations

Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker has announced a new responsible gaming slogan that is to accompany all gambling advertisements in the future. The new slogan is “Wat kost gokken jou? Stop op tijd. 18+” (“How much does gambling cost? Stop in time. 18+”).

As we reported last week, trade associations VAN Kansspelen, NOGA, and VNLOK urged Minister Dekker to back the, admittedly, catchier “Voorkom spijt, stop op tijd, 18+” (“Avoid Regrets, stop in Time, 18+”).

Minister Dekker, however, has now decided to follow the recommendation of Mental health organization Trimbos Institute and opt for a slogan that contains an explicit reference to costs (financial or otherwise) of gambling.

Upcoming events

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

  • The Betting on Sports America conference and expo has been scheduled for 30 November – 2 December, 2021 and will bring together all the major players in the fast-growing North American sports betting industry.

  • The World Gaming Executive Summit is returning live on 6 – 8 December, 2021 at the W Hotel, Barcelona.

  • ICE London and iGB Affiliate London have been scheduled to take place 1 – 3 February, 2022.

Netherlands Gambling Authority to investigate 25 online gambling operators

The Netherlands Gambling Authority has selected 25 gambling websites for further investigation, as part of its new enforcement approach that requires all unlicensed operators to block Dutch customers.

Sanctions will be issued if it is found that players from the Netherlands can participate in their games of chance, the regulator announced.

Previously, operators were only required to avoid “actively targeting” Dutch consumers, for instance by making use of the Dutch language or offering Dutch payment methods such as iDEAL.

The Gambling Authority's current enforcement policy prioritizes investigations into operators that are suspected of serving a large number of Dutch customers.

Sanctions may also apply to third parties such as payment service providers and advertisers who promote the sites.

The regulator's announcement followed reporting by Follow the Money about the extent of illegal gambling activities by Curaçao-licensed operators, parts of which are explicitly aimed at Dutch consumers.

According to the article, an estimated 40% of illegal gambling operations that are active in European markets, as well as traceable to specific companies, are in possession of a Curaçao-issued license.

MPs Michiel van Nispen and Renske Leijten (both SP) submitted Parliamentary questions asking the Dutch government to address this issue.

Other news

Onetime has announced its nominations for its “Best Dutch Casino 2021” award.

Game developer Stakelogic has signed a partnership with operator BetVictor.

Betsson has received a warning from Swedish regulator Spelinspektionen after it offered bets on rule violations, which is prohibited by Swedish law.

Swedish regulator Spelinspektionen has been tasked by the country's government to conduct an inquiry into future player protection measures.

The UK's Safer Gambling Week 2021 generated almost 25 million social media impressions, a 19% increase from 2020, according to new figures released by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC).

Sportradar Integrity Services has signed a multi-year agreement with the International Handball Federation (IHF).

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