On 1 April 2012 the new Games of Chance Authority started in the Netherlands, which intends to give a new boost to the enforcement of the games of chance policy. Up until now not much was known about the exact approach of this new Authority, except that it would have the power to impose hefty fines. Meanwhile, enforcement has started and 40 providers of games of chance that are aimed at the Dutch market have been warned that they must adapt their websites. An interesting aspect is that the Games of Chance Authority has announced the criteria it is using to take action against such providers of games of chance.

The Authority has chosen to focus on websites offering games of chance that are clearly directed at the Dutch market. This seems to imply that other parties will be out of harm's way. If a provider of games of chance meets one of the three criteria, the game of chance may fall within the focus of the Games of Chance Authority. These three so-called 'prioritization criteria' concern providers of games of chance:

  • whose website, on which the game is played, ends in .nl, and/or;
  • whose gambling website is available in the Dutch language, and/or;
  • who advertise through radio, television or in printed media aimed at the Dutch market.

If one of these criteria is met, the provider of games of chance will receive a letter in which he is given a term to make several adjustments, after which the website will not longer be monitored by the Games of Chance Authority. According to the press release, this approach has been chosen because the Authority "is unable to deal with all illegal gambling websites". It is possible that the policy will still be tightened later on. Compliance with the prioritization criteria therefore does not mean that the provider of games of chance is automatically acting in conformity with the Betting and Gaming Act, but it does mean that for the time being, he is on the safe side.

First published in the Kennedy Van der Laan newsletter - July 2012

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