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Lawmakers Reject Total Gambling Advertising Ban in the Netherlands: Emphasis Shifts to Playing Limits and Stricter Penalties

Updated: Feb 19

In a notable development, the Netherlands’ house of representatives (Kamer) recently made a significant decision regarding the regulation of gambling activities within the country. The rejection of a proposal for a total ban on gambling advertising underscores the nuanced approach taken towards gambling regulations in the Netherlands. The proposal sought to amend the Remote Gambling Act (KOA Act) with the aim of prohibiting all forms of gambling advertising. However, the proposal fell short of the required majority by just six votes, indicating a close divide among lawmakers on this contentious issue.


Lawmakers Reject Total Gambling Advertising Ban in the Netherlands: Emphasis Shifts to Playing Limits and Stricter Penalties

Despite the rejection of the advertising ban, there was a consensus among lawmakers regarding the importance of implementing overarching playing limits as part of amendments to the KOA Act. Mirjam Bikker, the leader of the ChristenUnie party, successfully proposed a mandate calling for the enforcement of universal loss limits across all 27 licensed operators in the online gambling market. This move reflects a growing emphasis on enhancing consumer protection measures within the gambling industry and addressing concerns related to excessive gambling.

The approval of Bikker’s mandate came despite opposition from Minister for Legal Protections, Franc Weerwind, who raised concerns about existing financial risk checks. Minister Weerwind had recommended compulsory monthly financial risk checks for player accounts spending over €350 and highlighted the forthcoming introduction of a €150 loss limit for individuals aged 24 or under by the online gambling regulator. Despite these measures, the mandate for overarching playing limits was passed by a majority vote, indicating a strong commitment to safeguarding consumers from the potential harms of excessive gambling.


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Additionally, the Kamer approved a mandate proposed by Socialist Party MP Michiel van Nispen to impose stricter financial penalties on online gambling operators for regulatory violations. Van Nispen advocated for fines of 10% of turnover for violating regulations, emphasizing the need for stringent measures against unethical gambling companies. This move signals a firm stance against regulatory breaches within the gambling industry and underscores the importance of upholding integrity and compliance standards to protect consumers and maintain the integrity of the gambling market.


Furthermore, the Netherlands gambling authority, de Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has been actively enforcing regulatory fines, with a significant increase seen in 2023. The KSA collected a total of 21 financial penalties and settlements from both online and land-based gambling operators, amounting to a record-breaking €442.6 million in fines for the year. Notably, the largest fine issued was €6,794,000 to Goldwin Limited for operating in the Dutch market without a license. This enforcement action highlights the authorities’ commitment to maintaining regulatory oversight and deterring unlawful activities within the gambling sector, ultimately contributing to a safer and more transparent gambling environment for consumers.

By fLEXI tEAM

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