Remote gambling - a step-by-step plan for the licence

From 1 April 2021, providers can submit an application for a licence for the online provision of remote games of chance via a digital portal of the Gaming Authority. The Games of Chance Authority (hereinafter: “Ksa”) will be facilitating this portal. Below we will discuss the conditions that an application must meet. Section III of this step-by-step plan lists the aspects how an application will be assessed. Below we briefly mention the various steps in the application procedure. An extensive version of this step-by-step plan has been developed for our clients.

The Remote Gambling Act (hereafter: “Koa”) is expected to come into effect on 1 March 2021. Six months later, on 1 September 2021, the Dutchonline gambling market will open. On 1 September 2021, the Central Register of Exclusion of Games of Chance (hereinafter: “Cruks”) will also come into effect for both online and land-based providers of games of chance.

In order to assist in preparations for its implementation, a draft of the secondary legislation accompanying the Koa has already been made public. Prior to the entry into force of the Koa, the secondary legislation will be officially announced. The Ksa will share further information on its website. Parties can use this to prepare for implementation of the law. Here you can read more about the Koa and the application procedure.

Draft policy rules, regulations and a draft model permit have now been drawn up in this context. Furthermore, multiple laws, orders in council and policy rules apply.

NB: All (secondary) legislation is still subject to change.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR THE KSA ONLINE LICENCE APPLICATION

The Koa applies to the following types of remote games of chance;

a. casino games in which the players play against the licensee;

b. casino games where the players play against each other;

c. sports betting, and

d. bets on the results of horse races and harness racing.

In principle, the licence holder must have its registered office, central administration or principal place of business in an EU or EEA member state. Exemption from this requirement is only possible if a number of conditions are met.

This also applies to the electronic means used for the games of chance. Organising remote games of chance implies, by definition, the use of electronic means (hardware and software). Pursuant to Article 31h of the Koa, the necessary requirements are made in the interests of the responsible, reliable and verifiable organisation of remote games of chance. These will include fair gaming and other aspects of consumer protection, the prevention of gambling addiction and the prevention of money laundering, terrorist financing, and other gambling-related crime. As part of the operational management, the electronic means must be inspected by an accredited inspection body.

A decision will be given within 6 months after the application has been submitted. The decision period can be extended by a maximum of 6 months. The permit is granted for a period of maximum five years. Furthermore, 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.

The (operation of the) licence can be suspended if the games of chance authority has serious suspicions that there are grounds to withdraw the licence (Article 31d, second paragraph, Betting and Gaming Act (‘Wok’)), for example, because the information provided in the application was considerably incorrect or incomplete, that the permit should not have been granted, because the rules laid down by or pursuant to the Wok, the Wwft or the Sanctions Act 1977 are no longer complied with, or because insufficient cooperation has been provided to compliance supervision or enforcement.

STEP-BY-STEP PLAN FOR AN ONLINE GAMBLING LICENCE

The draft policy rules were last updated on November 18, 2020. [1]

According to the policy rules, an application must be submitted via a form (including an appendix in Dutch) on a specially designated section on the Ksa website. Below, the 16 steps are discussed in sequence, based on the relevant paragraphs of the policy rules. This is a summary of the manual that we have prepared for clients.

1. BIBOB ASSESSMENT

The reliability and integrity of the provider and of those who (co-) determine its policy must be beyond doubt. No Bibob form has yet been published on the site. There is, however, a type of draft working document. [2] The policy rules contain circumstances on the basis of which advice will be sought from the LBB. Here you can read more about the Bibob procedure.

2. APPLICANT’s INTEGRITY POLICY

A copy of the integrity policy must be provided with the application. The aim of this policy is to ensure that fraud and abuse are recognised and prevented and that managers, persons in key positions and persons who come into contact with players when organising games of chance are reliable. The integrity policy must show that;

  • the inventory, analysis and evaluation of integrity risks comply with the regulations set by or pursuant to the law;
  • how the integrity policy is internally implemented and applied.

It also looks at the way in which the policy is structured. These include at least the following aspects:

  • the procedures and measures used by the applicant for the screening;
  • the positions designated by the applicant as integrity-sensitive; 
  • the way in which the applicant assesses the reliability of the persons who perform the functions that the applicant has designated as integrity-sensitive. [3]

3. CONTINUITY of ONLINE PROVIDER

The application must be accompanied by a statement, no older than 30 days prior to the day on which the application was submitted, from an auditor as referred to in Directive 2006/43 / EC. This statement must show that there is no question of bankruptcy, liquidation, suspension of payments or any seizure of the applicant's assets of more than five percent of the applicant's cumulative assets. [4] A format for such an auditor's statement is available on the Ksa website. [5]

4. REMOTE GAMBLING PAYMENT TRANSACTIONS

Payment transactions between the applicant and players must be sufficiently guaranteed. To this end, the applicant must submit a policy document showing that the applicant's board will provide insight into the payment instruments and payment service providers that will be used for payments between the applicant and the player.

5. SEGREGATED PLAYER funds

Players' funds must be segregated from the applicant's other assets. This will be the case when the applicant demonstrates that the assets are guaranteed by an insurance policy via a bank guarantee and/or the use of a Dutch trust fund foundation. Other ways are also conceivable.

6. FINANCIAL SECURITY FOR THE APPLICANT'S PERMIT

The applicant is to provide financial security for the fulfillment of his or her financial obligations, as referred to in Article 5.4 of the Remote Games of Chance Decree, in the form of:

a. a bank guarantee;

b. a deposit;

c. a surety bond

d. something else equivalent to those securities referred to in a, b or c.

The amount of the financial security at the time the permit is granted is € 50,000.

7. ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING POLICY (WWFT) WITH A GAMING LICENSE

The permit holder must comply with the provisions of the Wwft under penalty of withdrawal of the permit. The applicant is to submit with his or her application the elements of his or her anti-money laundering policy, demonstrating that it is sufficiently guaranteed that the remote games of chance will be organised in accordance with the Wwft and that the supervision of compliance with and enforcement of the Wwft can be carried out efficiently and effectively.

8. SANCTIONS ACT 1977

Under the Sanctions Act 1977 it is prohibited to contribute to any support of an activity or transaction of a sanctioned person, entity or country. The applicant will have to guarantee that remote games of chance will be organized in accordance with the regulations laid down by or pursuant to the Sanctions Act 1977 and that supervision of compliance with and enforcement of the Sanctions Act 1977 can be carried out efficiently and effectively.

9. OUTSOURCING

The applicant is to submit a copy of:

a. its outsourcing policy;

b. the documents with which the applicant has ascertained that this third party complies with the law, the Wwft and the Sanctions Act 1977 [6] ;

c. the relevant outsourcing agreements, including service level agreements (SLAs). [7]

10. CRUKS [8]

The Remote Games of Chance Act stipulates that there will be a Central Register of Exclusion of Gaming, or Cruks for short. Before a player can gamble, the gambling provider must check whether the player is registered on Cruks.

11. INTERNAL SUPERVISION

For the purpose of assessing whether the applicant is responsible for an internal supervision system, as referred to in Article 3.6 of the Remote Games of Chance Decree, the applicant must provide an overview of how the internal supervision system is set up and which officials exercise this supervision, or a plan how the applicant intends to organise the system of internal supervision and which officers will exercise this supervision once the permit has been granted.

12. CONTROL DATABASE

Pursuant to Article 5.3 of the Koa Decree, a provider of remote games of chance maintains a control database. This control database must be set up in accordance with the “Specifications for the remote gambling data safe” and the “Data Model for the remote gambling data safe” published on the website www.kansspelautoriteit.nl/inrichten-cdb.

13. INSPECTION OF THE GAMING SYSTEM FOR ONLINE GAMES OF CHANCE

The applicant's gaming system must be inspected. For the purpose of the assessment, a schedule has been published on the Ksa website. [9]

The applicant is to submis an inspection report with his or her application, as referred to in Article 4.53, third paragraph, of the Koa Decree. [10] The KSA has given more information on the method of inspection and system requirements in policy rules.

14. ONLINE GAMBLING ADVERTISING POLICY

For the purpose of assessing whether the applicant has sufficiently ensured that his or her recruitment and advertising activities comply with the regulations set by or pursuant to the law and whether the applicant has taken sufficient measures to imbed compliance of them in systems, procedures and agreements, both internally as and externally, the applicant is to provide a copy of its advertising policy with its application, showing at least:

a. that the recruitment and advertising activities comply with the regulations set by or pursuant to the law [11] ;

b. how the advertising policy is implemented and applied. [12]

15. ADDICTION PREVENTION POLICY

The applicant must demonstrate that he or she has sufficiently ensured that the requirements laid down by or pursuant to the law with regard to addiction prevention are complied with. The policy must focus, among other things, on training staff on addiction prevention.

16. MATCH FIXING

The policy rules do not yet regulate this. At this current moment, it has also been stated that nothing has been arranged for this yet. [13]

[1] https://kansspelautoriteit.nl/wet-koa/vergunning/benecessary-documenten/

[2] https://kansspelautoriteit.nl/wet-koa/vergunning/benecessary-documenten/betrouwigheid/

[3] Section 4 of the Policy Rules

[4] Section 5 of the Policy Rules.

[5] https://kansspelautoriteit.nl/wet-koa/vergunning/benecessary-documenten/continuiteit/

[6] In assessing these documents, the Management Board will verify whether the applicant

  has ascertained sufficiently of the knowledge and compliance by the third party with the

  regulations laid down by or pursuant to the Act, the Wwft or the Sanctions Act 1977.

[7] Article 11.4 of the Specification Policy.

[8] https://kansspelautoriteit.nl/wet-koa/cruks/aansluiten-op-cruks/

[9] www.kansspelautoriteit.nl/keurenspelsysteem

[10] Section 16 of the Policy Rules

[11] See Articles 17.2 to 17.4 of the Specification Policy.

[12] Section 17 of the Policy Rules

[13] https://kansspelautoriteit.nl/wet-koa/vergunning/benecessary-documenten/matchfixing/

https://kansspelautoriteit.nl/onderwerpen/wet-kansspelen/

Please contact Blenheim to help you out with the KSA licence procedure.

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