Dutch Regulation Producing Positive Results

There has also been a big drop in the number of unlicensed operators since regulation of online gambling began in the Netherlands last October. The Dutch are also getting tough with sites that allow their slot games to have an autoplay feature.

The Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) did this because their gaming regulations make it illegal to offer such a feature. A gambler got in touch with them and told them he was able to use the banned feature on several games at a certain site.

Just which online site has been warned hasn’t been revealed. The KSA clamped down on autoplay features as part of their attempts to make gambling in the Netherlands safer. The idea being that players should decide whether to continue gambling after each spin of the reels, what the KSA call a “conscious choice.” With the autoplay feature, that isn’t possible.

The games that featured autoplay have now been taken off the site. Operators who do not follow that course of action could receive a fine of up to €300,000.

Meanwhile the KSA say that there has been a fall in the amount of illegal gambling in the Netherlands in the past six months. It was last October that they introduced stricter measures when regulating the online gambling market in the country.

Their chair, René Jansen said that the KSA had decided to clamp down on all unlicensed operators. They could have just attempted to act against those actively targeting customers in the Netherlands.

Several major operators blocked Dutch players when October began. One of these is the Kindred Group who run sites such as Unibet. The decision to do this contributed towards their revenue results in Q1 fall by 30 per cent.

158 illegal providers have been investigated by the KSA. All but 16 of them have since taken action that will stop Dutch based players accessing their sites. There will be follow-up investigations against the 16 that haven’t taken any action. This could include sanctioning actions. Some of them took their sites offline before the regulation commenced.

The KSA have released their annual report and it contained one surprising fact. They claim that the online gambling market in the Netherlands isn’t as large as has been predicted. In the five months between licensed online gambling being introduced on October 2 and the start of March, the number of online gaming accounts created was 634,000.

Mr Jansen made a speech at ICE London and said that the drop in unlicensed sites was just what the new laws intended. He stressed that with legal sites, players are “assured of a fair game and attention to preventing gambling addiction.”