KSA prevents ‘dozens’ of illegal online lotteries in 2021 amid major industry reform

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René Jansen, Chairman of the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has lauded the “important and major step” that the Netherlands took regarding the reform of its gambling policy last year.

The Dutch gambling regulator changed its enforcement policy aimed at combating illegal providers, following changes that had arisen after the Remote Gambling Act (KOA) came into effect on April 1, 2021.

This led to the KSA handing out almost €2.2m in fines to illegal online providers, while it also ensured that dozens of online lotteries were stopped.

Prior to regulation, it was estimated that at least a million Dutch people were betting with black online market companies, playing without any protection or supervision, which created ideal conditions for greater losses and, ultimately, gambling addictions.

Jansen commented: “All in all, in 2021 an important and major step has been taken in the modernisation of the gambling policy in the Netherlands.

“That was urgently needed. In a legalised and regulated market it is possible to protect players against the risks of gambling. In the past, that was not really possible with online games of chance.”

Last week, the KSA published its annual report for 2021, which included a foreword by Jansen, who discussed the issue of gambling advertising and the importance of it to achieve the political goals of re-regulation.

“The political objective of the modernisation of the gambling policy is to ‘channel’ players from illegal to legal offerings. This cannot be done without advertising,” Jansen said.

He added: “It is a balancing act between making yourself known on the one hand and not causing irritation on the other.

“The role of the KSA is limited in the current regulations. The rules stipulate that advertising must not be misleading, must not encourage immoderate play and must not target vulnerable groups, such as minors and young adults. In addition, there are rules about the times at which advertisements may be broadcast.”