Kansspelautoriteit clarifies ‘important steps’ ahead of licensing process

René Jansen, chairman of the board at Netherlands regulator Kansspelautoriteit, has asserted that everything remains on track for the Remote Gambling Act to enter into effect on March 1, 2021.

Making a keynote address at a Gaming In Holland conference, Jansen backed-up previous assertions that from the aforementioned date onwards, it will be possible to submit applications for online gambling licences. That, in turn, means that the online gambling market will open on September 1, 2021.

A number of crucial steps ahead of the licensing process were also addressed by the KSA chair, with Jansen saying that the country’s central exclusion register, CRUKS, has been handed over to the operational managing party, Netcompany.

Furthermore, the control database, the instrument online operators will use to monitor gambling behaviour and that will serve as the basis for Ksa’s digital supervision of the operators, is also said to be “ready to go”.

Once that notification process for the database has been completed with the European Commission, the regulator will publish the technical requirements. This, it says, is likely to take place next month.

“We have also been hard at work drafting the various necessary policy rules,” Jansen said. “Via these policy rules, the Ksa is translating the laws and regulations into real-world practice in connection with implementation and supervision. 

“Next month, we will arrange a consultation regarding the draft policy rule on responsible gambling: market parties like yourself will have an opportunity to respond to what the Ksa expects of you in terms of addiction prevention and advertising. The draft policy rule for remote gambling (the Koa rule) will then follow in November.”

The KSA also issued a warning should a licence application be submitted without the proper diligence, with a denial or potential six month delay possible should that be the case.

Moreover, Jansen also noted that “the goal of the legislator is to see that only those operators who place a high value on responsible gambling will receive a licence.  If that is not true in your case, the Ksa will not issue you a licence.”

In the extensive keynote address, Jansen also went into detail on the ‘Postema motion,’ offering clarification ahead of the licensing process: “I can imagine that there are those among you with a burning question on the tip of your tongue: how will the 1 March start date impact the so-called Postema parliamentary motion? 

“In this motion, parliament has asked the minister to see to it that operators who apply for a licence in the Netherlands, must have refrained from actively and specifically offering their online gambling services to the Dutch market for at least two years prior to their licence application. 

“The answer to your question is that when we receive an application for a licence, we will look at the applicant’s activities for a period of two years and eight months prior to the date of their application. The review period of two years and eight months reflects the delay incurred in relation to the date on which the law was previously intended to enter into force. 

“In other words: an operator who applies for a licence on 1 March 2021, will need to have ensured that their offerings have not specifically and actively targeted Dutch consumers from 1 July 2018 on. 

“To assess whether that is the case, we will examine certain criteria. These include, but are not limited to, making use of the Dutch language and payment platforms popular in The Netherlands. 

“In order to be eligible for a licence, operators must also have had adequate age verification in place from 1 January 2020 on, in order to effectively prevent minors from participating in gambling.”