The gambling regulator in the Netherlands, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), published today an interim report on its actions tackling illegal games of chance in the country the first half of 2023.
Forcing Discontinuation of Illegal Offers
The KSA informed the public that during the first six months of the year, various violations were identified, successful interventions to reduce illegal gambling offers were carried out, sanctions were imposed and new methods of investigation were introduced.
Following its initial intervention, the regulator implemented periodic-based penalty payments to three providers of illegal games of chance as they did not stop the violation. The method proved to be among the fastest and most effective weapons in the KSA’s armory as it almost immediately resulted in illegal gambling providers discontinuing their offers.
To prevent the expansion of illegal gambling player networks, the KSA started an investigation at the end of 2022, probing the eight most visited websites that advertise gambling products and services whether they advertise unlicensed online casinos and/or offer advice on how to circumvent Cruks, the national self-exclusion register.
The ongoing investigation found so far that four of the eight websites being looked into violated the Betting and Gaming Act: KSA will undertake various enforcement actions against these websites, including making them inaccessible from the Netherlands, to force them to comply with the law.
The gambling authority also conducted 32 investigations into illegal offers advertised on social media and reported to Meta those occasions where violations had been found. Following the KSA’s reports to Meta, the pages violating the Netherlands law were immediately closed.
Expanding Investigation Capabilities into Cryptocurrencies
The increasing use by illegal providers of cryptocurrency as a payment method online forced the KSA to look into this area and forced the regulator to expand the tools at its disposal. The KSA used Bitcoins on six occasions during the first six months of 2023 to determine possible violations and then forced violators to discontinue their offer in the country.
As tackling illegal land-based gambling is also part of the KSA’s remit, the authority provided support to municipal and police teams on 42 occasions in the period. Besides offering support during raids and municipal actions, the KSA is authorized to seize slot machines and other gambling equipment that is not allowed to operate in the country.
As part of an integrated approach to subversion, the KSA is in constant talks with Regional Information and Expertise Centers, contributing to their work on a regular basis.