KSA takes action against 37 operators over licensing issues

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Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Dutch Gambling Authority, has taken action against 37 companies for operating gaming machines without valid licences.

Following an investigation into 290 catering businesses which were offering gaming machines on their premises, the KSA judged that 37 operators were guilty of illegally maintaining the products.

The 37 operators have been notified by the KSA and, with the exception of one, have ceased the violations. The regulator is set to “impose an order subject to a penalty” on the remaining operator, with the incident set to be factored into the KSA’s assessment on whether it will keep its licence.

A KSA statement read: “The Gaming Authority issues operating licences. An operating permit states that exploitation may only take place in places for which an presence permit has been issued. 

“An attendance permit, which is issued by municipalities, guarantees, among other things, that gaming machines are only present at locations that are mainly visited by adults. These are so-called high- threshold catering locations. An open and naked gambling machine in a snack bar, for example, is not allowed.”

Concluding its statement, the KSA stressed the importance of joint cooperation between itself and municipal authorities, observing that the regulator ‘supervises the operators, the municipalities supervise compliance with the regulations in the presence permit’. 

“The KSA calls on municipalities to actively check for the presence of a presence permit in the case of gaming machines,” the regulator concluded.

The issue of licences has been a hot topic in the Netherlands since the regulation of the betting and gaming market on October 1, 2021.

In March, the KSA ordered KOA online gambling licensees to improve the targeting of their online advertising campaigns over fears relating to minors and vulnerable groups.

Meanwhile, René Jansen, Chairman of the KSA, lauded the “important and major step” that the Netherlands took to reform its gambling policy last year as almost €2.2m in fines were handed out to illegal online providers.

This ensured that dozens of online lotteries were stopped.

Last month, Jansen also announced the departure of 142 unlicensed operators since regulation of the Dutch gaming market last year.