The gambling regulator in the Netherlands has instituted a new rule that would implement a two year ‘cooling off’ period for potential gambling licensees.
The Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) announced the new rule, which is still at the draft stage, on Friday. The rule requires all operators applying for a KSA licence to have refrained from providing online gambling products to consumers in the Netherlands for a period of two years.
Currently, it is illegal to offer online gaming services to Netherlands consumers, but that situation will change in 2021 when the online gambling industry is officially launched. But in the interim, the issue of operators who have illegally targeted Netherlands consumers has remained a controversial one, and there has been considerable debate over whether such operators should be granted a licence.
The new rule put forward by the KSA is an attempt to bring that debate to a conclusion, by imposing a two-year cooling off period. It is also partly the result of a motion put forward by Netherlands Senator Andre Postema, requiring the government of the Netherlands to report to the Dutch legislature on the criteria it will use to decide whether an internet service provider should block a particular site.
Before the passing of last year’s Remote Gambling Act, which laid the foundations for the launch of the regulated market last year, the Netherlands government said that it would be important to avoid offering licenses to gambling operators that had targeted the Dutch market.
According to the new rule, the KSA will apply six tests to establish whether a company had illegally targeted Dutch consumers, as part of its ongoing work to establish the licensing process. It is expected that licensing will begin on July 1, 2020.