Dutch regulator takes tough action against ‘risky’ gambling apps

Dutch regulator takes tough action against ‘risky’ gambling apps

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 Totally Gaming
Kansspelautoriteit has ordered app stores to stop offering gambling products

The Dutch gaming authority has told app store giants such as Apple and Google to stop offering illegal gambling products, as it suggested apps offer “a greater risk” to consumers than desktop sites.

The Kansspelautoriteit said that as many as 49 unlicensed apps that offered real-money gaming were available to Dutch players in a survey it conducted at the end of April.

Companies that break strict Dutch laws on gambling can be fined up to €810,000 ($926,000) or 10 per cent of their annual profit. To comply with Dutch rules, companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Google will have to stop Dutch consumers being able to access the apps in their app shops, the Kansspelautoriteit said.

“Gambling companies which operate the apps should remove them, as well as references to the apps on their own websites,” a Kansspelautoriteit spokesperson said. “Managers of platforms where these apps can be downloaded, should also remove these apps.

“The Gaming Authority will check whether gambling companies act in accordance with Dutch regulations. Providers that do not could face enforcement action.”

Kansspelautoriteit said it has a particular concern about apps, adding: “It now appears that the use of apps for gaming sharply increases at the expense of playing through a PC or laptop. Players can use apps on mobile devices 24 hours a day anywhere. The combination of the low threshold of apps and the greater risk to young people are reasons to take concrete steps in the coming months.”

The Netherlands is now the only European Union country that has not passed laws to regulate the gambling sector. The Dutch government hopes that the Remote Gaming Bill will be voted upon this year and come into effect in 2017. 

TotallyGaming.com says: “Kansspelautoriteit’s statement will do little to reduce the sense that the Dutch authorities have an inherent aversion to an open, liberalised gambling sector.”

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