Dutch regulator begins market-wide cashback bonus inquiry


The Dutch gambling authority, Kansspelautoriteit, is to scrutinise the country’s online gaming ecosystem regarding the usage of outlawed cashback bonuses.

This follows a recent signal regarding such an offer being on display by a licensed entity, which subsequently terminated the violation following intervention by the regulator. 

However, it was noted that this prompted a market-wide investigation due to concerns that permit holders were not heeding prior warnings issued by the Ksa.

In November 2022, all licensed providers of online gambling were ordered to stop providing bonuses in the form of cashback. 

“They have been warned by letter that offering a bonus in this form is not permitted. If online providers do not stop immediately, they risk enforcement action by the Ksa,” it is warned.

Such offerings are not permitted within the Netherlands as they are classified as an advertising activity, and, according to the law, they may not encourage immoderate gaming behaviour.

“In the opinion of the Ksa, this is the case with cashback bonuses,” the regulator added. “They contribute to taking more risks and lowering the threshold for gambling, for example by playing with higher stakes or playing more often.”

Earlier in the month, the Ksa issued three warnings after untargeted advertising was witnessed in public places, noting that “several providers” had violated the new rules that were introduced at the turn of July.

This saw advertising on TV and radio, as well as in newspapers and magazines, become outlawed. 

Furthermore, ads in public places, such as billboards and bus shelters, and buildings accessible to the public, including casinos, slot machine arcades, cinemas and cafes, are also not permitted. 

However, ads via the internet, direct mailing, on-demand TV, social media or in the online gaming environment remain permitted under strict conditions.