Rene Jansen, Chairman of the Netherlands gambling regulatory authority Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has warned industry leadership that operator conduct and behaviour will be judged as key conditions for licensing.
Jansen made his remarks addressing an audience of legal executives at a gaming event hosted by Amsterdam law firm Kalff Katz & Franssen.
2019 saw the Dutch Kamer settle on the terms of the Netherlands long-awaited ‘Remote Gambling Act’, instructing the KSA to prepare its regulatory foundations for launching the market’s licensing procedure on 1 January 2021, six months prior to the scheduled regulated market opening on 1 July 2021.
Jansen said: “I have previously warned that the licensing procedure should not be taken lightly, and I repeat that warning today. As you all know, gambling is a controversial subject in the Netherlands. In fact, I would say that it is more controversial in the Netherlands than in many other countries, based on impressions from talking to fellow regulators and other stakeholders abroad.”
In his address, Jansen stated that he had made the KSA’s policy team aware that they would be tasked with scrutinising an industry in which ‘gambling risks are inherent every day’.
Leading the authority during a critical year of legislative planning, Jansen underlines that the KSA teams are monitoring gambling developments within neighbouring European jurisdictions, with regards to operator conduct and behaviour.
“At the KSA, we subscribe to a digital press clipping service, which compiles all gambling-related news stories, such as when someone has committed large-scale fraud to feed their gambling addiction,” Jansen added.
“In most cases, the stories are not major news items, but they still represent distressing cases of suffering. Because compulsive gamblers nearly always have a massive impact on those close to them, this addiction can destroy families.”
Jansen would detail that changing public and political perceptions of gambling witnessed across the UK, Italy and Belgium have underlined why the KSA will enforce the toughest of pre-licensing conditions on incumbents seeking to join its market.
The KSA stands by its licensing ‘reliability assessment’ enforcement on all operators to disclose full personal details on key management, corporate governance, legal counsel and tech partners (platform, payments, data providers, etc).
Jansen warns leadership that a ‘critical gaze has been placed upon them’, in which the KSA has to be convinced of incumbents operating frameworks with regards to gambling addiction safeguards, advertising responsibility and consumer protections.
He concluded: “Responsible gambling’ must not be merely a PR slogan for operators; it ought to be part of the corporate DNA of all gambling and betting operators, both online and land-based. It seems to me that that’s the real spirit and key message of our new Dutch Gambling Act.”