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KSA: 32 probes into illegal gambling social media posts in H1

| By Marese O'Hagan
Dutch regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has released statistics on its enforcement activities in the first half of 2023, revealing that 32 investigations took place into illegal gambling offerings on social media.

KSA said the posts promoting illegal gambling offerings appeared on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. It added that the accounts responsible were closed after KSA made reports to parent company Meta.

During the six-month period, KSA said that a number of successful investigations took place regarding illegal gambling in the country. Several sanctions were imposed and new methods of investigation were put into practice.

Illegal gambling providers

KSA explained that it imposes orders onto operators that are operating illegally in the Netherlands. This gives operators the chance to shut down the illegal activity immediately, or have to pay periodic payments.

If the operations are not shut down in time, KSA can impose a definitive order subject to periodic penalty payments. During the first half of 2023, KSA imposed these orders on three providers. It added that several reports on further fines are currently in preparation.

At the end of 2022, an investigation began into eight websites that advertise illegal gambling offerings.

The investigation continued into 2023. KSA is set to take enforcement action against four of the eight websites.

Rise in cryptocurrency

The regulator also commented on the rise in cryptocurrency being advertised as a payment method.

Six investigations into bitcoin payments used by gambling operators took place in 2023. A sanction was handed down in each instance.

In terms of illegal land-based gaming, KSA said it had provided support to municipal and police teams in 42 cases.

Investigations into these cases involved raids and municipal action.

The regulator is within its right to confiscate relevant material from illegal land-based operations, including unregulated slot machines.

Advertising ban

The Netherlands implemented a ban on various forms of gambling advertising on 1 July. This ban prohibits advertising on television, radio, in print and in public places.

The ban also encompasses gambling sponsorship on events and sports clubs. This will take place in two phases – from 1 July 2024, it will be illegal to sponsor events and programmes and, from 1 July 2025, operators can no longer sponsor any aspect of the sports sector.

Dutch minister for legal protection, Franc Weerwind, confirmed the nationwide ban in April.

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