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Dutch Online Casinos Expected to Prioritise Player Safety in 2022Dutch lawmakers warn licensed stakeholders of sanctions with continued player safety deficiencies. The Kansspelautoriteit draws a line for operators who contravene financial laws.
As one of the youngest regulated markets, the Dutch online gambling industry may experience several teething issues. The European region’s remote gambling regulator, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), conducted a compliance investigation related to financial safeguards and found operators fell short.
Dutch operators received a stern public warning as the KSA became impatient with their failure to comply. According to the regulator, providers in the region must improve their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing protocols or face sanctions.
Other recent warnings from the KSA chair, René Jansen, pertain to advertisements about games of chance. Jansen relayed that political patience is running thin for operators who do not comply.
Delayed Action and Further Investigations
Although the Netherlands entered the regulated sphere of online gambling barely over six months ago, its gambling authority makes haste to keep its finger on the pulse. The KSA recently investigated the adequacy of specific regulatory protocols expected from licensed operators. It also consulted the Dutch Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) on relevant data.
Dutch licensed gambling operators must comply with the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act. Also known as the Wwft. Investigation findings reveal a concerning lack of compliance from platform providers. Both FIU and KSA identified delayed action when players deposit high amounts of money.
KSA reports that many of its licensees omit affordability checks and do not verify the source of income. It notes that related financial checks only occur after deposits exceed €2,500. According to the regulator, this is the average monthly income for most in the country. Operators received instruction to conduct earlier research as their inefficient protocols threaten increased harmful gambling behaviour and enable money laundering.
The report mentions further investigations continue with two of the operators due to concerning findings.
Lack of Reporting
Anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) protocols require operators to report any suspicious transactions to the FIU. The financial body investigates these to rule out criminal operations. KSA’s investigation uncovered related infringements of some of its operators.
One example includes deposits worth €15,000 within 24 hours from one account. The AML and CTF laws obligate licensees to report any unusual or suspicious transactions within two weeks of the transaction taking place. The KSA urges its operators to do so as quickly as possible and notes that a further lack of compliance would induce sanctions.
Impatience with Gambling Advertisements
René Jansen recently wrote about his disappointment with the overall response from operators in the region. The KSA chair wrote how he initially hoped the Netherlands would be a poster child for other regulated markets, and 6 months down the line, it seems unlikely.
Jansen, who continuously advocates the necessity of advertising for positive channelling, warns that the regulator’s patience regarding advertising is running out because of persistent violators. Ministers regularly call for stricter management of gambling advertisements, and some have requested an outright ban.
Although Jansen expresses his understanding of the need to advertise and market share strategies, he notes:
“We expect responsible behaviour from licensed providers. Society can expect the KSA to monitor this closely.”
With time limits and celebrity bans in place, further advertising regulations may be on the cards.
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