Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has stated that it is closely monitoring 25 unlicensed online gambling operators to ensure that they are not engaging with Dutch consumers.
The Netherlands Gambling Authority underlined that it had taken a new enforcement approach following October’s launch of the KOA Regime – bringing the Netherlands regulated online gambling marketplace into force.
On 1 November, KSA announced that it had modified its KOA enforcement policy, to adopt significantly increased penalty charges on unlicensed actors.
Stating its intent to safeguard the KOA regime, KSA will fine unlicensed operators 4% of illegal operator activities that exceed €15 million of turnover. The Authority will further impose a basic penalty of €600,000 for operators whose turnover cannot be identified.
KSA did not disclose any names of the 25 operators it was monitoring, or whether the operators were awaiting a Dutch licence approval under the KOA regime’s existing cooling-off arrangement.
Despite failing to secure KOA market opening licences, tier-1 European igaming operators such as Entain, Kindred, LeoVegas and Betsson announced that they would block all Dutch customer traffic and services, complying with KSA orders.
Prior to market launch, KSA unveiled that just 10 operators had passed its licensing requirements, a figure significantly lower than the 28 licences that were previously anticipated by the regulator.
Q3 trading saw failed KOA applicants detail the cost of complying with KSA cooling orders. Entain Plc cited that its European brands would take a £5m per month EBITDA hit, meanwhile Kindred Group as the biggest reporting a monthly EBITDA underlying impact of circa €12 million.
Entain and Kindred remain confident that they will be approved by KOA next licensing window that will be by April 2022.
Closing its statement, KSA noted that it tougher policy enforcement had been undertaken as a regulated market safeguard to ensure players engage with licensed actors.
“At legal providers, participants in games of chance can play in a safe environment, in which there is a reliable game and sufficient attention for gambling addiction. An objective of the law is to ‘channel’ players from illegal to legal providers.”