During the World Cup, the Dutch Gaming Authority will be looking closely at sports betting to make sure no Dutch minors are tempted to take part.
Sports Betting Participation
In the Netherlands, participating in what the Dutch Gambling Authority considers games of chance, like sports betting, is allowed, but only for over-18s. Operators are obliged to ensure that minors do not participate in betting, and only the section of the Dutch Lottery known as the Toto is legally allowed to offer such wagering on sports events.
For such wagers, only one license has been issued, based on the country’s law regarding games of chance. All other online sports betting providers have to ensure that consumers in the region do not participate. One way to prevent punters with Dutch IP addresses from taking part in sports betting is by geo-blocking.
Supervisory Agenda for 2018–19
Earlier this year, the Gaming Authority announced that within its new Supervisory Agenda, it would be focusing on preventing minors from taking part in games of chance. This effort is a top priority for the regulator as it feels young people are a vulnerable group, and gambling providers need to make every effort to prevent the participation of minors.
The Gaming Authority has created a Minors Reporting Form in which individuals, even minors themselves, can report sports betting activity. The information is said to be used for dealing with illegal providers and will not be used to fine minors who have taken part in sports betting. Information provided on the form includes name and address along with how the minor was able to register with the provider and which provider and/or website was used to gamble.
iGaming Situation in the Netherlands
For operators and affiliates in other countries, the online gambling situation in the Netherlands is not too good. Both are being fined for operating in the country without a license, but there is no opportunity for such operators to obtain licensing. Operators like 888 Casino have stopped offering services to Dutch players due to regulatory constraints.
Last summer, legislation known as the Online Gambling Bill was passed by the Dutch Lower House, but the Senate has yet to approve the measure. Despite the delay, it seems that most House Representatives are in favor of the bill. The measure would see online gambling activity regulated, allowing foreign operators to apply for a Dutch gambling license. While it looks likely that operators will eventually be able to obtain licensing, it doesn’t help the situation right now.
The current bill would change the fact that online gambling is illegal in the Netherlands. The Dutch Gaming Authority has issued several warnings that online casinos, regulated by other authorities, offering their services in the region could face fines for offering them to Dutch players. If the legislation is passed into law, it would see the Dutch Gaming Authority able to issue gambling licensing to outside operators.