Several Dutch Casino Operators Chastised for Advertising to Minors
A number of casino operators in the Netherlands has been reprimanded by the Netherlands Gaming Authority, also known as Kansspelautorieit, for advertising their gambling services on web pages with content geared towards children. Kansspelautorieit issued cease-and-desist letters in relation to Dutch advertising regulations to a number of operators, including Nationale Postcode Loterij, Staatsloterij (the Dutch state lottery), Bankgiroloterij and Holland Casino, which is the country’s exclusive casino operator.
Kansspelautorieit’s website said that those gambling operators were found to have advertised their services on several other websites that target the nation’s youth. Those websites included spelletjes.nl, scholieren.com and donaldduck.nl. Dutch law, which was implemented in 2013, strictly prohibits operators from advertising on sites that offer content exclusively to children. Dutch gaming operators and affiliates are also banned from using classic Dutch symbols such as windmills and tulips.
Those that were issued the cease and desist letters were told that they would face major fines if it is discovered that they have continued to advertise their services on children’s websites, including those mentioned previously. The operators that have been issued the warnings could face fines up to €100,000 if they are caught a second time.
Strong Stance on Advertising
Over the last several months, Kansspelautorieit has attempted to strengthen its industry oversight as a means of cracking down on those that violate imposed regulations. Earlier this year, the Netherlands’ gaming regulatory body introduced new rules and a new strategy that effectively banned unlicensed online gambling services as well as third-party advertising of said services.
In October, Kansspelautorieit announced its plans to focus more attention on curbing the risks involved with the promotion of casino games and gambling, particularly to vulnerable members of society, particularly children.
Kansspelautorieit believes that there is a fine line between free-to-play gambling and real money gaming, and that many could be tempted to cross said line. A recent study commissioned by Kansspelautorieit reported that half of all those surveyed aged 24 and under have already made the switch from social casino games to those that offer real cash prizes. The report also discovered that the country’s social gaming marketplace was worth nearly €27 million and is still growing at a rapid rate.
New Regulations Forthcoming
Kansspelautorieit has also taken a hardened stance regarding the advertisement of online casino games in the Netherlands. As of now, a certain number of Dutch businesses have been granted permission to provide online gambling services to local residents. Despite that, unlicensed third-party regulators have been able to successfully target Dutch players for the last several years anyway.
The government of the Netherlands has been working toward new regulatory framework surrounding the country’s gaming industry. It is commonly believed that new framework could be revealed to the public at some point by early 2019. The new regulations are expected to allow international casino operators to apply for licenses from local Dutch regulators and operate in the new regulated environment.
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