The Netherlands is currently legislating their online gambling market, but as they do so they are having a hard time with affiliates who are already offering games to Dutch customers, despite not having a license to operate in the country as yet.
Crackdown on Affiliate Marketers
On Friday the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) Dutch regulatory body announced that it had launched a crackdown on affiliate marketers who continue to promote online gambling sites targeting Dutch customers, as they are doing so in defiance of the current legal situation in the Netherlands.
The KSA conducted an investigation into 44 affiliate websites, of which 26 had fallen foul of the current legal situation in the Netherlands and targeted Dutch customers despite it being illegal. The investigation came about after what is described as ‘external reports’, which are thought to be Dutch gaming operators who are hoping to have control of the market once legislation is finalised.
Due to the geographical layout of Europe it’s incredibly difficult to block access from one country border to the next and so the Netherlands isn’t the only country cracking down on unregulated operators.
This is the second such campaign by the KSA, who already handed down some big fines last year, including a €300,000 fine for Mr Green Casino for operating illegally in the country. The last campaign caught seventeen affiliate sites targeting Dutch customers and this new investigation looks set to find further violations.
The Dutch government has approved its Remote Gambling Bill this spring but the KSA won’t begin accepting license applications until July 2020 with the regulated market then officially launch the following year, on Jan 1st 2021. Until then, customers in the Netherlands are going to continue to attempt to access online casinos and gambling sites as there remains a gap in the market.