26 September 2021

Enforcement against illegal offering of remote gambling

Category: Gaming law

The Act on Remote Gaming (Wet Kansspelen op afstand – Koa) legalizes and regulates online games of chance in the Netherlands. From 1 October 2021 it is possible to offer gambling via the Internet legally if the Dutch Gambling Authority Ksa has granted a license. Enforcement of illegal online providers will be tougher as from October 1, 2021.

Enforcement of illegal remote gambling

From October 1, 2021 it is possible to participate in games of chance via the Internet at legal providers. The Dutch Kansspelautoriteit (Ksa) has issues remote gambling licences to secral providers. The Ksa is changing its priority and penalty policy regarding illegal gaming providers. A package of enforcement measures must ensure that players opt for legal online gambling as of October 1. With legal providers, gambling participants can play in a safe environment, where there is reliable gaming and sufficient attention to gambling addiction.

License for remote gambling in the Netherlands

Gaming providers can apply for  licence with the KSA for casino games, sports betting as well as horse races. In principle, the licence holder must have its registered office, central administration or principal place of business in an EU or EEA member state. Our firm has supported a couple of providers in the licence procedures. The licence is granted for a period of maximum five years. The license is not transferable. A procedure other than transfer is possible, after receiving permission from the games of chance authority. This is the case, for example, in situations where there is a merger or division of the license holder. More on the step-by-step plan for an online gambling licence you can read here.

Legal enforcement against illegal gambling  as from October 1, 2021

René Jansen, chairman of the Kansspelautoriteit, says: “This creates a new situation. At the end of September it will be known which companies have succeeded in obtaining a license. A license is subject to strict conditions. Legal providers are under the supervision of the Chancellor’s Office. The intention of the law is to ‘channel’ players from illegal to legal providers.’

An important change in the policy is that the fine for illegally offering online games of chance, will be significantly increased. These higher fines apply to cases under further investigation as of October 1.

If the turnover of an illegal provider exceeds 15 million euros, the fine will be related to the turnover and will amount to 4 percent thereof. If the turnover of the company is not known, the Kansspelautoriteit estimates the amount. If the turnover of the company in question is less than 15 million euros, the basic fine is 600,000 euros. In both cases the fine can be higher if there are certain aggravating circumstances. for example, if the illegal offer is aimed at minors, or if no information is given on addiction prevention.

Penalty procedure of the Dutch Gambling Authority KSA

The regulatory authority KSA can issue a penalty or administrative coercion against illegal offerings of online gaming. Our firm handles appeal procedures against such a penalty decision. A Dutch administrative lawyer can lodge an objection against a decision by a regulatory authority to issue a fine, periodic penalty payment or administrative coercion. A lawyer may also be present during the inspection of the regulatory authority. Furthermore, if a regulatory authority has signaled that it is going to investigate, a lawyer can advise what authorizations the authority has, how far the obligation to cooperate extends and explain the right to remain silent and when this right can be invoked during the investigation. You read more here about the Dutch penalty procedure.

Please contact our public law team on Dutch gambling law issues.