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The Netherlands – KSA to only offer licences to companies with at least two years of Dutch abstinence

By - 15 July 2019

Dutch gaming regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) is considering introducing new laws that would force a two year ‘cooling off’ period for companies wanting to land an online gambling license.

The proposal, which is currently being drafted, would see all operators applying for a KSA licence to have refrained from providing online gambling products to consumers in the Netherlands for two years.

The Dutch government said before finalising its online gaming laws that it would look to favour offering licenses to operators that hadn’t targeted the Dutch grey market. The draft policy rule following the Postema motion states that a number of criteria are considered when applying for an online gambling license: Was there a website with the .nl extension? Did the provider use the Dutch language? Did the provider use means of payment that are used exclusively or largely by Dutch people? Has the provider advertised on TV, radio or in print media, aimed at the Dutch market? Was one or more domain names used for the offer with typical concepts referring to the Netherlands in combination with gambling designations? Did the website on which the games of chance were offered contain one or more characteristics from which a focus on the Netherlands can be derived?

If one or more of these criteria applies, the applicant will not receive a permit.

KSA stated: “With the publication of the draft policy rule, the Ksa has given a first indication to potential permit applicants about the content of the reliability test. The Ksa takes into account the ‘motion Postema’ that the Senate adopted on 19 February 2019 during the discussion of the Remote Gambling Act. This draft policy rule will form part of a broader policy rule for testing the reliability of applicants. Applicants are also subjected to a Bibob test. In addition, there are other requirements that applicants for an online gambling license must meet. For example, in addition to reliability requirements, the new law also sets requirements in the areas of addiction prevention, finances and business operations.”

The KSA’s RenĂ© Jansen said: “An important objective of the Remote Gambling Act is to create a safe, controlled range of online gambling. Without any leniency for providers who have violated the law in the past, this offer will not take place. By being a temporary leniency, whereby the boundary is set with the aforementioned criteria, this is the case. After that it is no longer necessary to be flexible with the rules. This also fits in with the existing policy of the Ksa to tackle parties who focus on Dutch consumers as a matter of priority.

Whilst, the KSA is currently setting up the licensing process, the Ministry of Justice and Security is drafting the law into subordinate regulations. The draft policy rule following the Postema motion is in line with this. When the lower regulations are ready, the KSA can make definitive permit conditions. It expects that license applications can be submitted from July 1 2020 and that the online gambling market will open on January 1 2021.

Caption: René Jansen

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