Dutch Government busy setting up new gambling laws
A few weeks ago the Dutch gambling regulator, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), forced some online casinos to close down. And because of other new rules affiliates needed to stop there activities or change their way of promoting. Since then it became a bit quiet ….
But since this week the Dutch government has shared some new information about new rules that will start the regulation of the Dutch online gambling market. Although the government has finally started with setting up rules and requirements it can still take a long time before online gambling becomes completely legal in the Netherlands. Especially since some Dutch political parties are still against gambling and regulating the online gambling market.
Shaping of the Dutch online gambling market
With the start of setting up new rules and regulations the government has started shaping the future online gambling market in the Netherlands. Two high placed civil servants, Dennis van Breemen and Grans Maas, from the department of Justice and Safety shared some of these new rules and regulations during the Gaming in Holland Conference in Amsterdam this week. These new rules, which regulate and legalise online gambling in the Netherlands, are already approved by House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) of the Dutch Parliament. Now the wait is on the approval by the 75 members of the Senate (Eerste Kamer) of the Dutch Parliament (the States General).
Regulation of new players
Below we will highlight some of the most important rules that have been approved regarding the registration of Dutch new players. These rules state that online casinos should comply to the following rules;
- Players can only make an account using their name, contact information, date of birth, place of birth and their citizen’s service number (BSN number).
- Online casino must automatically check if the new player appears in the CRUKS register. The CRUKS register is the central register of people that are excluded from online gambling.
- All players information must be checked first before a player can make a (small) first deposit. Withdrawing money will also be impossible without verifying personal someone’s information.
- An online casino must check someone’s personal information within 30 days after registration. This can be done by verifying an bank account by making a small €0,01 payment.
- Players must set up an personal profile including limits regarding the amount of logins each week, daily and weekly deposit limits and a maximum casino balance limit. Besides that it should be possible that players can exclude games (or entire categories) and set up maximum playing times.
Regulation of ads, bonuses and promotion
Besides the rules regarding member registration and setting up personal limits the government has also released some information about the regulation of ads, bonuses and promotions. Because of this casino and other parties should comply with the following rules;
- Promotion on television can only take place between 19:00 and 06:00.
- Adds and promotions cannot be targeted on people under 24. Especially minors should not be confronted with online gambling.
- Promotion or adds cannot be targeted on people that are in the CRUKS register.
- Bonuses can’t be based on players behaviour. For example bonuses that compensates peoples loses.
- Casinos can’t target groups using promotions or bonuses. For example a student bonus or a special promotion for older people.
- All bonus terms and conditions must be explained to players very carefully.
- Players should be able to cancel bonuses and promotions.
Besides the rules regarding a players registration and bonuses and promotions the government has also set up some other important rules. These rules are set up to protect the market and players from losing to much money (including rules about avoiding gambling addiction). Other important rules are;
- Online casinos must comply with some financial criteria’s including a guarantee with a maximum of €810.000 to meet possible future fines from the Kansspelautoriteit (the Dutch regulator).
- All players money must be separated from the company and should be placed in a third account. This ensures players money is safe and secure when an online casino goes bust.
- Each betting round on an online video slot should at least take 3 seconds from start to finish.
All these rules will not only be important for only casinos but they will also become the standard for other forms of gambling including bingo and sports betting.
A long way to go
Although the first approval by the House of Representatives it can still take a long way before the market opens. This is because after the approval by the States General these rules will be worked out on a detailed basis which needs to be approved by the government again. This means it can still take a long time before all rules have been worked out and approved. The department of Safety and Justice expect that the first draft will be reviewed in August or September. After that the will be a round of review which can still influence the regulations and rules. All with all van Breemen expects that the online gambling law will not be final before July 2018. Especially since it already takes years to create a law I could take a lot longer than that time frame. We will see …