The Netherlands Gambling Authority (KSA) is investigating four websites that promote unlicensed gambling and information on how to circumvent the national self-exclusion register (Cruks).
The KSA made the announcement in its enforcement update, published on July 6, which covers the action it has taken over the past six months.
During this period the KSA said it has used a new investigative method and identified “various violations” of the gambling rules.
At the end of 2022, the regulator started an investigation into the eight most visited affiliate websites aimed at the Dutch market, which advertised unlicensed online casinos and provided information on circumventing Cruks.
Four of those websites are being investigated further after unnamed violations were found.
The KSA told VIXIO GamblingCompliance that it would not comment on the broader investigation as it is still ongoing, but reiterated that there “will be consequences” for the four websites in question, which could range from fines, warnings, a notice or a takedown order.
Using cryptocurrency as a payment method on unlicensed websites has also become an increasing problem in the Netherlands, according to the enforcement update.
“We do see that more and more (unlicensed) providers have started to accept cryptocurrencies as a payment method (one of the reasons we have extended our own research with crypto) and that Dutch players have also adopted this payment method,” the KSA said.
Unlicensed gambling adverts on social media are also still an issue in the Netherlands.
The KSA conducted 32 investigations in the first half of the year into illegal offers on social media sites, including Instagram and Facebook.
Established or suspected violations were reported to parent company Meta, which then immediately closed the identified pages and accounts.
Alongside these modern threats, the KSA is also still taking enforcement action against illegal land-based offerings.
In 2023, the KSA supported police teams in 42 cases, during actions such as raids.
In the near future, it is likely that there will be increased enforcement action in the Netherlands, in particular surrounding advertising violations and unlicensed operators.
Dutch gambling minister Franc Weerwind recently promised that the gambling regulator would “take action” against violations of the new advertising restrictions that came into effect on July 1, 2023.
Additionally, the KSA has been engaging in a wave of enforcement activity against alleged unlicensed operators, including a landmark €12m fine for Malta-based N1 Interactive and a €9.87m fine for Videoslots.