Dutch gambling inspectors acted effectively in the eight months following the regulation of the online gaming market last year, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has asserted.
Rene Jansen, Chairman of the KSA, offered a breakdown of the efforts the Dutch gambling authority has been making in its fight against black market operators and to safeguard bettors.
The Chair acknowledged that illegal online betting has not disappeared in the year since the KOA Act’s implementation, but the authority has investigated ‘about 200 websites’, issuing many with ‘fast and effective’ cease and desist orders.
“Strict implementation of the duty of care is certainly not the only factor in creating a safe environment for players – the objective of the Remote Gambling Act,” Jansen continued.
“An equally important variable is the approach to tackling the remaining illegal online offer. I realise that this has been a less visible activity of the Ksa lately. However, our inspectors certainly did not sit on their hands.”
Fines were significantly increased by the KSA since 1 October 2021, with new enforcement actions and fines introduced the month prior in preparation, and the KSA has since embarked on a policy of tracking ‘so-called affiliates’ which promote illegal offerings.
In December, the KSA concluded 22 investigations, resulting in 15 affiliate websites being found to have advertised unlicensed games of chance in violation of legislation – 13 were subsequently penalised with a cease and desist order.
Additionally, Jansen reiterated the authority’s calls for payment service providers to avoid facilitating illegal gambling, noting that such transactions had subsequently declined in volume.
Payments providers who continue to do so will be issued with warnings, followed by a ‘binding instruction’, one of the new powers granted to the KSA by October’s legislation.
Safer gambling does, however, require operator collaboration, Jansen continued, noting that he had ‘publicly called on the sector and individual companies’ on a number of occasions to take social responsibility seriously.
The Chair had previously stated that there has been positive cooperation between operators and the regulatory authority, observing that firms had willingly adopted marketing restrictions cuh as the recent ban on ‘role models’ in advertising and a TV commercial blackout between 10pm and 6am.
He concluded his blog: “Two things are of the utmost importance for a safe environment for people who want to gamble online: legal providers treat players responsibly and a strict approach to illegal providers. The KSA stands up for both.”