The Dutch regulatory body, Kansspelautoriteit has taken its next step towards providing a fully regulated online gambling market in the Netherlands by conducting a fresh crackdown on affiliate websites. By doing so, it aims to stop such sites from being able to target the Dutch gambling market.
This latest move by the regulatory body has seen it review a total of 44 separate affiliate websites. These were examined by Kansspelautoriteit after it observed such itself and also received various reports from external parties regarding the targeting of Dutch gamers.
The results of the crackdown showed that 26 of those affiliate websites were targeting such players, with offers being provided to push them to register at one or more online gambling sites. While this may have been a lot more possible beforehand, the new gambling law within the Netherlands dictates that unlicensed gambling companies cannot offer or provide their products to players within the country. Likewise, any affiliate partners are not allowed to advertise their products to any potential Dutch gamers.
Before the new laws, foreign operators had been able to bypass the general ban and target Dutch players. Kansspelautoriteit has, in previous years, handed out a number of large fines to operators violating those rules. However, there has been very little success in the regulatory body managing to collect those fines throughout the years, due to Dutch law previously not having the provisions to force payments to be made.
As of Friday last week, the regulatory body stated that of the 26 websites it had found to be targeting Dutch players, 20 of them had ceased advertising their gambling products with a focus on the Netherlands. Three of them stopped doing so after being warned by Kansspelautoriteit that they could be served hefty fines, while the remaining three are still under investigation.
Why Target Affiliate Websites?
Speaking on its decision to look into affiliate websites, the company noted that it has taken the choice to do this because it wants to protect Dutch gamblers. It went on to say that there is no guarantee for players from the Netherlands who choose to wager their money on unregulated websites, that they’re provided with a fair and safe product. Furthermore, Kansspelautoriteit stated that the unregulated gambling sector does provide quite the issue when it comes to being able to monitor vulnerable and underage gamblers.
It was this past February that the Dutch Senate finally got around the discussing and approving the new legislation which allowed for the reorganisation of the country’s gambling market. By doing so, it will allow foreign operators to apply for gambling licences to be able to offer their products within the country. Licences are expected to be available for application in the middle of next year, with the sector coming to life at the start of 2021. The regulatory body has revealed that it has already had 183 expressions of interest from gambling companies, and 89 of those have come from companies based outside of the Netherlands.
It was also reported recently that a two-year cooldown period would need to be served by any operator who has targeted Dutch citizens prior to the market’s reorganisation. It would only be after this two-year period that such brands would be able to apply for a licence to legally operate within the Netherlands. This and more will be taken into consideration when an applicant opts to go for a Dutch licence, and you can guarantee that Kansspelautoriteit will be stringent in its audit of all applications.