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Netherlands Delays Legalizing Online Gambling

Joy broke out when the Netherlands finally decided to legalize online gambling. It all went south when it was later stated that the market launch for regulated online gambling has been delayed until July 2021. The decision was made to permit the government enough time to create secondary gambling legislation. The country’s Minister of Justice and Security, Sander Dekker, announced the delay to the Netherlands’ lower house of parliament. The amended Remote Gambling Act is now set to take effect on the 21st of January, 2021.

Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the official Dutch gambling regulation had earlier stated that it would begin to accept online license applications from operators after the enactment of the RGA. These applications would have to be processed for six (6) months before being fully ratified. This has led to the inevitable delay in the online market launch. You can get a full-time experience at CasinoHEX Netherlands, where we offer the best of online gambling and casino games.

On the bright side, some legislators tried to move for the absolute ban on gambling advertising. The minister rejected this view. He had this to say;

“…restricting gambling advertising is…not in itself an objective of the current Dutch gambling policy.”

Dekker further stated that placing a ban on advertising would only have negative impacts on the government’s desire to help locally-licensed gambling sites gain traction. He, however, stated that there are plans for the government to strengthen the existing rules on advertising in the Netherlands. Some of these rules include regulated time-frame for advertising through certain media platforms, limited bonus offers, restrictions on behavioral targeting as well as limited celebrity endorsement.

The Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) will not be granting the licenses of prospective online gambling operators who have not displayed a functional age-verification system. The government is particularly interested in restricting the participation of under-aged customers to zero percent. The government made this a compulsory requirement after it was discovered in 2018 that underaged customers were easily gaining access to the state-run Nederlandse Loterij’s Toto Sports betting product. The Nederlandse Loterji thereafter upgraded its age-restriction processes. As such, Dekker gives prospective online gambling operators to be at alert. The minister expressly stated that the failure of any company to comply with this will not only amount to the rejection of their license application, but it would attract the full weight of the KSA’s enforcement procedure.

Due to the coronavirus, there has been a national lockdown of all physical gambling venues nationwide. This has left a vacuum in the market. This also has led to a delay in the legalization of online gambling. Ironically, other international online gambling sites have been offering their services to Dutch customers without a license. It, therefore, becomes necessary that so much attention is given to the ratification of the new laws.

Technology makes life without physical contactless awful. Everything done physically can be done online. But, the restriction of online gambling activities in the Netherlands would lead to a diversion of local funds to an unregulated international market.