Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Dutch gambling regulator, plans to impose heavier fines to any operator who doesn’t conform with the guidelines about coronavirus-related advertising. The penalties will be increased by at least €50,000 in against brands that promote terms like ‘coronavrij gokken’ (corona-free gambling).
The new measures taken by the KSA will result in a minimum fine of €250,000 for the operators that apply this advertising. In addition, the authorities will be allowed to increase the amount of the fine if they judge that the content has irreparably crossed the line.
The measure is oriented towards land-based operators as well. Although in the Netherlands the land-based casinos are closed at the moment as part of the safeguards of the coronavirus pandemic crisis, the operators are still promoting their products. So, the KSA addressed them accordingly and warned them to avert from pandemic references when they promote their content.
In the current Dutch gambling act, a guideline was added towards the operators for adjusting their advertising during the pandemic crisis accordingly. Even the mere reference to the situation, will provoke a breaching of the legislation and will be dealt with fines by the regulator.
The only allowed reference to the coronavirus situation will regard prize draws and their cancellation. Informing the players for the cancellation or the postponement of such events won’t be considered as advertising.
We are almost one year away from the opening of the Dutch online gambling market which will happen on July 1st, 2021. Six months before the opening the KSA is expected to review the license applications made by the operators. The brands have already been warned by the KSA that if they infringe the rules, they will face the prejudice of the regulator during the application processing.