Dutch Justice Minister orders database clear-out

Netherlands Minister for Justice Sander Dekker stated that his department would enforce restrictions on the use of customer databases as the Dutch government adds final conditions to its approved ‘Remote Gaming Act’.

Responding to parliamentary questions in a legal briefing, Dekker said that approved Dutch online gambling licensees would have to terminate all existing customer databases acquired prior to market regulation.

Dekker underlined that the Ministry of Justice would enforce its condition on the legal basis of protecting consumer data from online gambling incumbents. He explained that the condition would create a level playing field for all new licensed incumbents ahead of the market’s launch scheduled for the start of 2021.

However, Dekker’s own VVD Party has raised concerns that the Minister’s order will undermine the key priority to channel players into regulated online operators.

VVD associates believe that Dekker has been unclear on how his order will direct an estimated one million Dutch online gambling consumers towards legal offerings.

Countering concerns, Dekker underlined that his database orders were in line with the legislative mandate of Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), who will undertake ‘reliability assessments’ on all licensee applicants ahead of market launch.

He stressed that Dutch gambling laws should not reward prior illegal activities, as the Remote Gambling Act had to establish clear precedents on fair marketplace.

Dekker said that channelization concerns would be overcome by the KSA who had been given ‘direct powers’ to restrict the capabilities of illegal actors, including blocking ISPs, payment services and imposing fines on those advertising unlicensed websites.

Further to the briefing, Dekker has instructed the KSA to issue consumer guidance on the labelling of ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ games with regards to casino content. Ahead of market launch, he stated that Dutch consumers must be made aware of the clear distinctions between game types and their elements of risk.

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