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KSA Cracks Down on Illegal Gambling: Social Media Closure, Sanctions, and Advertising Ban

KSA, the gambling regulator of the Netherlands, has made significant progress in combating illegal gambling activities both online and in land-based establishments.

KSA Cracks Down on Illegal Gambling: Social Media Closure, Sanctions, and Advertising Ban

The authority recently revealed its successful efforts in shutting down social media accounts promoting illegal gambling on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. By reporting these accounts to parent company Meta, KSA ensured their closure, effectively curbing the promotion of illegal gambling.

Over a six-month period, KSA conducted numerous investigations targeting illegal gambling operations within the country. These investigations resulted in the imposition of sanctions and the adoption of new investigative methods to enhance the efficacy of their efforts.

To tackle illegal gambling, KSA utilizes a two-step approach. Firstly, the authority imposes orders on operators engaged in illegal activities, giving them an opportunity to immediately cease operations or face periodic penalty payments. During the first half of 2023, KSA issued definitive orders with periodic penalty payments to three illegal gambling providers. Additionally, the authority is currently preparing several reports that are expected to lead to further fines.

In late 2022, KSA initiated an investigation into eight websites advertising illegal gambling offerings. The investigation has continued into 2023, and KSA is now set to take enforcement action against four of these websites, signaling the regulator's commitment to combatting illegal online gambling.

The rise of cryptocurrencies as a payment method in gambling has not gone unnoticed by KSA. In 2023, the regulator conducted six investigations specifically focused on bitcoin payments used by gambling operators. As a result, sanctions were imposed in each case, demonstrating the authority's determination to address the use of cryptocurrencies in illicit gambling activities.

KSA's efforts extend beyond online gambling. The authority has actively supported municipal and police teams in 42 cases involving illegal land-based gaming. These collaborative efforts have included conducting raids and taking appropriate municipal action to curtail such activities. KSA also possesses the power to confiscate relevant materials, including unregulated slot machines, from these illegal land-based operations.

In line with the Netherlands' commitment to responsible gambling practices, the country implemented a comprehensive ban on various forms of gambling advertising from July 1st. The ban encompasses television, radio, print media, and public spaces, ensuring that gambling promotions are no longer permitted through these channels. Furthermore, the ban extends to gambling sponsorships of events and sports clubs. The implementation of the ban will occur in two phases, with event and program sponsorships becoming illegal from July 1st, 2024, followed by a complete ban on all forms of sponsorship in the sports sector from July 1st, 2025.

The nationwide gambling advertising ban was confirmed by the Dutch Minister for Legal Protection, Franc Weerwind, in April, highlighting the government's commitment to protect consumers and promote responsible gambling. KSA's proactive approach in investigating and taking enforcement actions against illegal gambling, coupled with the advertising ban, reinforces the country's commitment to ensuring the integrity of the gambling industry and safeguarding its citizens.


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