JOI Gaming fined €400,000 for targeting ads at young adults in the Netherlands

| By Robert Fletcher
Dutch regulator de Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) fined JOI Gaming, a division of land-based casino operator JVH Gaming & Entertainment Group, €400,000 (£352,267/$436,521) for targeting adverts at young adults.

An investigation of the operator by KSA found JOI Gaming sent an email about its Jacks.nl online gambling website to its active customer base, which includes a number of players under the age of 24, between 8 December 2021 and 7 March 2022.

The email included information about the games on Jacks.nl, as well as bonuses available to players. KSA said a further six unique promotional emails were also sent to all young adult players. 

This was deemed to be in breach of Article 2, Paragraph 4 of the Dutch Betting and Gaming Act, which states a licensed operator must not direct any advertising or marketing at users between the ages of 18 and 24.

Responding to the allegations, JOI Gaming admitted to sending the emails to young adults, but said it had made clear to players that it was a new online operator of games of chance, having secured its first licence in November of 2021 and two further licences in February last year.

However, JOI Gaming disagreed with KSA’s conclusion that it has breached national law by contacting these players about it offerings.

KSA considered JOI Gaming’s response but concluded that as it had contacted young adults and not excluded them from the marketing messages, it was in breach of gambling laws in the Netherlands.

As such, KSA issued JOI Gaming the €400,000 fine, although the operator has the right to appeal the decision. 

“As far as we are concerned, the legislator is crystal clear: no recruitment activities aimed at young adults,” KSA chaiman René Jansen said. “In December 2021, KSA emphasised even more to licensed providers how the provisions on advertising and recruitment activities are intended. 

“KSA considers it serious and culpable that this provider nevertheless focused on young adults.”

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