Jan Suyver, the outgoing chairman of the Kansspelautoriteit, the Dutch gambling authority, has spoken of his frustration at the ongoing and repeated delays to the regulation of online gambling in the Netherlands.
In an interview with Financieele Dagblad, Suvyer – who leaves his position on October 8 after six years in the role – expressed obvious annoyance at the situation he leaves behind.
“The Netherlands is almost the last country in Europe that has not regulated the online gambling market,” he said.
“Everywhere I meet my fellow gambling authorities it is arranged. In Bucharest, in Prague… abroad they do not understand that the law is still not there [in the Netherlands].”
Suyver said regulation would tackle the considerable volume of unregulated offshore online gambling in the Netherlands, with as many as a million Dutch players believed to play regularly. “You will maintain that illegal situation [by not regulating],” he said. “It all happens unprotected. It is a moral duty that the legislation comes into being.”
He continued: “You cannot cancel that illegal situation. There are hundreds of sites active – if you tackle one, you immediately have an alternative.” It is a state of affairs Suyver has previously likened to “mopping with the tap running”.
Acknowledging political and ideological opposition to regulation, and the need for thorough debate, the outgoing chair nonetheless believes that regulation is long overdue. “With all respect for the people who are against or critical: regulate it,” he told FD.
Commenting on the detailed nature of the bill, Suvyer said: “I think this is a sign of distrust,” adding that in more than six years, he had not seen “any major crimes.” He went on to claim the complicated nature of the accumulated obligations could stifle interest in licence applications. “How many applications for a permit will we receive later?
“We once went from 50 to a hundred. We will have to see how much of it remains. It could well lead to a ‘shake out’,” he said.
Suyver said that the frustration he felt extended to the team at the KSA: “They have the hope that the law will come. In the meantime they have to be patient.”