René Jansen: KSA will implement the strictest KOA licensing procedure 

René Jansen, Chairman of Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has stated that the Netherlands gambling regulatory authority will have the necessary resources to deal with an influx of applications seeking to join its new online gambling marketplace.

Jansen made his statement, addressing delegates of the ‘Gaming in Holland’ conference on 22 September, underscoring that despite a three month delay in launching its licensing window to 1 March 2021, “the countdown has begun to make the KOA Act a reality”. 

“The Remote Gambling Act Koa will enter into effect on 1 March 2021. This means that from that date on, it will be possible to submit applications for online gambling licences. And that, in turn, means that the online gambling market will open on 1 September 2021,” Jansen stated in his opening address. 

Jansen praised the ‘behind the scenes work’ of the regulator’s research and policy advisors, stating that the KOA Act had formed the most comprehensive protections on consumer safeguards and gambling addictions.

The KSA chairman also defended the regulator against criticism of subordinate legislations which have frustrated the final passage of the KOA Act, stating that “no aspect of the Act could be left to chance”. 

Since its formal approval in February 2019, Jansen underlined that the KOA Act had been thoroughly scrutinised by all relevant Dutch oversight departments, who will play a key role in how the market is shaped and governed.  

“The House adopted motions, which then had to be incorporated. After that, the next step was the still-ongoing notification procedure with the European Commission in order to verify conformity with the internal EU market,” Jansen explained.

“Also ongoing at the moment is an advisory process with the Council of State, which is responsible for evaluating the quality of legislation. All of which is to say, this process is certainly no walkover – even before the coronavirus simultaneously reared its ugly head.”

Preparing for 2021 proceedings, the KSA has established a ‘temporary licensing department’ to deal with an anticipated influx of licensing applications from operators seeking to join the marketplace. 

Jansen confirmed that KSA staff have begun training in preparation to handle licensing application volumes through ICT mechanisms and that the department will be further supplemented by temporary staff.

Jansen upheld his prior warning to applicants that operator and management conduct will be reviewed across all applications as a central requirement to licensing approval.   

He added: “We will look at the applicant’s activities for a period of two years and eight months prior to the date of their application. The review period of two years and eight months reflects the delay incurred in relation to the date on which the law was previously intended to enter into force.”

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