Dutch regulator warns of impending blackout of illegal providers

The Dutch Gaming Authority, Kansspelautoriteit, has issued a warning of an imminent blackout of illegal, unlicensed online gambling websites within the Netherlands.

This has also seen the regulator recommend that players withdraw any remaining funds from these entities, adding that “there are no guarantees that illegal providers will refund money if they can no longer be reached from the Netherlands”. The Ksa, it says, cannot mediate in this.

The Netherlands launched its online gambling marketplace on October 1, 2021, and moved quickly to assert that it would be taking significant steps to block illegal operators from targeting Dutch consumers, including IP and payment blocks as well as increased fines and penalties.

It has been previously announced 25 gambling websites had been selected to be examined in more detail, however, with the number under investigation having increased, the Ksa stated that they will “soon hear that they are under investigation and enforcement action will be taken”

These aforementioned blackout rules have also been applied to all operators waiting for KSA to approve licence to enter the market, with operators such as Betsson, LeoVegas, and Kindred, among those to stop accepting Dutch consumers ahead of a future objective of operating under the new regime.

The official launch of the region’s digital ecosystem saw the Ksa grant an initial ten licences, which saw the Toto Online brand of Nederlandse Loterij; Dutch arcade group FPO Netherlands; Holland Casino; and NSUS Malta, which counts GGPoker as part of its stable; all gain approvals.

Further entrants include Estonia’s Play North, operator of the Rocket Casino and Pikakasino brands, bingo operator Tombola, bet365; Belgian brand Bingoal, Italy’s Betent; and LiveScore Malta. In November, JOI Gaming, via a licence for its online casino jacks.nl, gained the 11th permit.