On February 19, 2019 the Dutch Senate approved a bill on remote gambling. This means that it will now be possible to apply for a license in the Netherlands to offer online games of chance. Until the Remote Gambling Bill comes into force, this is still prohibited. It’s not known yet when gambling companies can apply for a license.
What is the Remote Gambling Bill?
The Remote Gambling Bill is a modernization of the Gambling Act. It’s makes it possible to legally offer and play games of chance on the worldwide web. Many countries have already implemented such bill before the Netherlands. Although the Dutch government is quite late, they now want modernization because stricter conditions can be imposed on providers of online games of chance. By doing so, players can be protected better. The new bill is also a way to fight against gambling addictions and to ensure fair games of chance.
Strict conditions for gambling companies
In order to qualify for a license, gambling companies have to meet strict conditions. For example, they must have a connection to the ‘Centraal Register Uitsluiting Kansspelen’ (CRUKS). If a player ignores the rules of a website, he or she can be temporarily included in this register, either voluntarily or forcibly. It means that he or she is excluded from participating in all online games of chance for a certain period of time.
Reliability test for gaming providers
Gaming providers are also required to keep an eye on players and must intervene when they suspect risky playing behavior, such as wagering a lot of money or playing all day several times a week. This is known as their ‘duty of care’ and is an important requirement from the Dutch Gambling Authority. This is not the only condition the gaming providers have to meet. They’re also required to fill a control database (CDB( ) with up-to-date information on the progress of their games. The Ksa must always have access to this database. It can follow the data in the CDB providers closely. Last, but not least, providers of games of chance must undergo a reliability test. Both the applicant and the application are tested thoroughly.
Reaction from the Gambling Authority
Playing a game of chance is quite risky. Players can lose a lot of money or even become addicted. Thanks to the Remote Gambling Bill they’re protected better against this. René Jansen, chairman of the board of directors of the Gambling Authority (Ksa) stresses the importance of consumer protection. The calls the approval of the Dutch Senate for the Remote Gambling Bill a milestone. It protects online gamblers, which is not possible on the illegal market. On the website of a provider with a license you know for sure that the games of chance are safe and fair.
When will the new Gambling Bill come into force?
It’s not exactly known when the Remote Gambling Bill will come into force, the Minister for Legal Protection said. As the person who is responsible for the gambling policy, this decision lies in his hands. The Ksa is in charge of the supervision and implementation of the gambling policy. It will soon grant licenses for being allowed to offer games of chance at a distance (such as games of chance on the Internet). The Ksa does this on the basis of the law, lower regulations and policy rules. At the moment the Minister and the Ksa talk about the next steps. Time is needed to set up the licensing procedure. There are also fixed deadlines for some implementation activities. Examples of this are the European notification obligation.
What powers will the Ksa have?
As long as the Remote Gambling Bill is not in force, the Ksa will continue to take action against providers of online games of chance. Currently no control is possible on the fairness of the game, so vulnerable groups, such as minors, are not protected very well. It’s also almost impossible to detect gambling addictions, which is quite a problem as well. Everything will chance when the new Gambling Bill is finally there. The Ksa will monitor licensed online gambling providers and those without a licence will then be severely tackled. The Ksa will have additional powers to do so. For example, it can block the payment traffic between the illegal provider and its participants.
What effect will the Remote Gambing Bill have on players?
For consumers, nothing will change for the time being. As a player you need to have patience until the Remote Gambling Bill comes into force. When this is the case, you can legally participate in online gambling. Make sure that you play with a gaming provider with a license from the Ksa, to enjoy safe and fair games of chance.