Dutch Gaming Authority Issues Further Ad Warning

The Dutch Gaming Authority Kansspelautoriteit followed a warning statement earlier this week, advising that operators’ads, such as those called ‘corona-free gambling,’ would be deemed a penalty-enhancing situation.

This follows the regulator blasting unlicensed operators to try to “take advantage of the fact that arcades and gaming casinos have had to close their doors due to the coronavirus”.

Stressing that, in the vow of stern steps to be taken, it deems these actions “unacceptable,” it follows the decision of last week to shut down all 14 Holland Casino entities until early April.

The Ksa argues that the extra warning to providers and marketers, who it says are “trying to take advantage of the current situation,” is a required move because it sees that online and physical illegal providers are trying to “entice customers with terms such as ‘ corona-free gambling’ and variants.”

Reiterating that it is illegal in the Netherlands to give the possibility of gambling via the internet, increases in fines from the normal starting amount of € 200,000 would equate to a minimum of € 50,000 for the aforementioned ads, but this may increase further.

The potential for enforcing a heightened fine would depend on the extent and sum of the recommendations, with unauthorised suppliers of physical chance games even becoming more heavily penalised if they advertise their bid with references to the actual situation. The same applies to advertisers, such as sponsors and blogs for analysis.

The regulator followed with the following statement to licence holders: “Offering games of chance in the Netherlands is only allowed if a license has been granted. License holders are allowed to advertise. Article 4a of the Gambling Act states that advertising must be ‘careful’.

“Commendations with references to the current situation are not and are considered an offence by the Ksa. Business notices by licensees that, in view of the current circumstances, they must cancel, adapt or postpone a game or a draw are not considered an endorsement by the Ksa.”