Dutch Gambling Regulator KSA to Stop Illicit Gambling on Social Media

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The Dutch gambling regulator, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has revealed that it conducted 32 investigations into illegal gambling activities on social media platforms during the first half of 2023.

The posts promoting these illicit gambling offerings were discovered on popular sites such as Facebook and Instagram. KSA took immediate action by reporting the accounts responsible to Meta, the parent company of these social media platforms, resulting in the closure of these accounts.

KSA's enforcement efforts have shown promising results, with several successful investigations and subsequent sanctions imposed on illegal gambling providers in the Netherlands. The regulatory body explained that it issues orders to operators engaging in illegal activities, giving them the opportunity to cease their operations voluntarily or face periodic penalty payments.

In cases where operators fail to comply with the orders, KSA can impose definitive orders subject to further periodic penalty payments. In the first half of 2023, KSA issued such orders to three providers, while additional reports on further fines are currently being prepared.

Busting Illegal Online Activities

The crackdown on illegal gambling also extended to online platforms. In late 2022, KSA initiated an investigation into eight websites advertising illegal gambling offerings. This investigation continued into 2023, and KSA is now preparing enforcement actions against four of the identified websites.

KSA's report also highlighted the increasing use of cryptocurrency as a payment method in the gambling industry. In 2023, the gambling regulator conducted six investigations into casino payments with cryptocurrencies utilized by gambling operators. In each instance, sanctions were imposed as a response to the illegal use of cryptocurrency.

Furthermore, KSA collaborated closely with municipal and police teams in tackling land-based casinos without gaming licenses gaming. Over the course of the first half of 2023, the regulator provided support in 42 cases, conducting investigations that involved raids and municipal action. KSA possesses the authority to seize relevant materials, including unregulated slot machines, from these illegal operations.

Netherlands' Ban on Gambling Advertisements

In a separate development, the Netherlands recently implemented a comprehensive ban on various forms of gambling advertising. Effective from July 1, the ban encompasses television, radio, print, and public places. It also extends to gambling sponsorships of events and sports clubs. The implementation of the ban will occur in two phases, with event and program sponsorships becoming illegal from July 1, 2024, and all sports sector sponsorships prohibited from July 1, 2025.

Dutch Minister for Legal Protection, Franc Weerwind, confirmed the nationwide ban in April, emphasizing the government's commitment to curbing excessive gambling promotion and protecting vulnerable individuals in society.

The KSA's enforcement activities and the introduction of stricter regulations demonstrate the Dutch government's determination to combat illegal gambling and promote responsible gambling practices within the country.

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