Kansspelautoriteit, the Dutch gambling commission, has ordered that affiliate network Catena Media closes down its operations in the Netherlands.
It issued a cease and desist order saying the marketing company had broken the country’s gaming laws and also issued a fine of up to €21,000 if the company failed to obey the order.
Catena Media is a performance marketing company based in Sliema, Malta. It drives ‘high-value online leads to its clients by helping online casino and sportsbook enthusiasts around the world to find the best deal.’
Kansspelautoriteit said Catena Media targeted Dutch players by promoting online gaming on sites such as pellenoverzicht.com, gokoverzicht.com, and netentcasino.nl, all of which have now been blocked in the Netherlands.
The crackdown is part of a new regime brought in in May on Dutch-facing websites. It has emphasised that operators and their affiliates are banned from using the .nl extension to direct players to .com sites, banned from using any traditionally Dutch symbols and banned from using the Dutch language. It saw a wave of online companies leave The Netherlands.
Dutch regulators gave Kansspelautoriteit new powers to ‘levy massive fines on foreign online gambling providers offering their products and services to players in the country without a local license’ in July.
Kansspelautoriteit stated: “This enforcement policy of the Chancellor Authority is in line with the law of the European Union. The Council of State has previously ruled that the priority policy is not unreasonable, since in particular Dutch-based providers can cause damage to Dutch consumers. Under the current law, the Chancellor Authority does not authorize online offers because the law now does not provide for the possibility.”