KSA Goes After 15 Affiliates for Advertising Illegal iGaming
The Dutch gaming regulator de Kansspelautoriteit is going after affiliate sites that advertise illegal gambling games in the Netherlands.
In the Netherlands, the Dutch gaming regulator de Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) is not playing any games when it comes to illegal gambling. Officials are going after anyone who breaks the rules and just recently, it was announced that 15 affiliate websites face charges after being found advertising illegal games to players located in the country.
It took 22 investigations to find the 15 websites in violation of the Dutch Gambling Act. The identity of the sites remains a mystery, but we do know that 13 of the affiliates may face a penalty based on what the KSA decides to do on the matter.
Going After Affiliates
Back in the early summer, the KSA warned industry shareholders that action would be taken against those who advertise for unlicensed operators in the Netherlands. This announcement came after the regulator reviewed 44 websites and sanctions were handed down for illegal actions.
In that group, 26 of the 44 sites were round guilty of advertising online gambling and the regulator told them to remove the ads. A total of 20 got rid of the ads altogether and three were investigated further with the threat of penalty.
In the beginning, the KSA decided to issue warnings to affiliates via cease-and-desist orders. After the order, a re-inspection is completed to monitor the activity of the operator. If the illegal activity remains, a financial penalty can be issued.
The KSA stated that offering games of chance without licensing is illegal in the Netherlands, and so is advertising such games. With affiliates, the individual or company receives money when someone clicks on the game. The regulator does not want Dutch gamblers to click on illegal games and the affiliate make money in the process.
It will be interesting to see if this action results in more affiliates being called out for illegal game advertising or if some will decide to stop in order to avoid an issue in the future.
Opening a Regulated Market
In early October 2021, the online gambling market opened in the Netherlands with regulations in place, a big change since iGaming was prohibited in the past. The Remote Gambling Act allowed such services to commence, as long as an operator is licensed to do so.
The new act was supposed to go into effect in July 2020 and the market open six months later, but it was delayed. After all the push back, the new industry was live on October 1 and players have taken to the regulated options.
The market opened with 10 operators receiving licensing with bet365 and Tombola among those earning approval. So far the industry is faring well with new reports indicating that players are turning away from unlicensed operators and choosing the licensed providers.
Rene Jansen, the KSA chair, recently stated that Dutch players are moving towards the regulated market, using betting and gaming operators that are licensed by the KSA. The regulator has been able to see the difference via the web traffic it monitors.
An important factor to take note of is that many large international companies that were not licensed decided to stop offering games of chance in the Netherlands on October 1, when the regulated market launched.
Jansen pointed out that it was an important objective of the Remote Gambling Act for the players in the Netherlands to make the switch. With legal gaming, the operations are supervised, which means players are ensure fair gaming and payouts. There is also more sufficient addiction prevention options for players who need help when a problem arises.