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KSA sets out details of licence application process

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Dutch gambling regulator De Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has provided the terms and conditions for a licence application under the country’s new Remote Gambling Act, which include reporting a variety of the applicant’s policies and details of how its “cooling off” requirements will be applied.

Applicants must complete a form that will be available on the KSA website, indicating what type of games they are applying for a licence to offer.

In order to receive a licence, an operator must provide its policies on a series of different issues. Among these is its marketing policy, where the licensee must show “what measures the applicant has taken to prevent aggressive advertising”, as well as measures to prevent misleading advertisements or ads that lead to excessive gambling.

Applicants are required to produce their addiction prevention policy as well, which must include advice from addiction experts and reasons if at any point it deviates from this advice.

Operators will also have to prove that their integrity policies are robust by showing how their integrity policies are implemented and applied.

Similarly, anti-money laundering and customer due diligence policies must be shown, which must include the method of conducting a source of funds investigation, as well as how unusual transactions are reported.

In addition, license applicants must produce a payment policy document that “provides insight” into the payment methods they will accept. 

Potential licensees must also prove that they keep player funds separate to other funds, and that these funds are guaranteed either through insurance or in a trust.

Applicants must also produce an audited account statement form the last 30 days, as well as offering a €50,000 security payment.

The tasks which are outsourced to contractors must also be revealed and a risk assessment must be conducted for a potential licensee’s outsourcing policy.

As mentioned in the Remote Gambling Act, all licensees must be connected to self-exclusion tool Cruks. Last week, the Dutch government submitted information about the mechanisms behind Cruks to the European Commission.

The application will also be sent to the KSA’s Management Board for an integrity assessment. This assessment will look into whether the license “will also be used for criminal offenses” as well as conducting background checks on those involved with the application. 

It pointed out here that the burden of proof here is on the balance of probabilities, rather than beyond reasonable doubt, so the KSA could find an operator to be committing an offense even if a court did not.

The KSA also cited “the non-payment or late payment of fines” or tax as a “serious” issue which may be uncovered in the integrity assessment, along with providing false information on the application. 

The KSA said that a licence would be granted without any doubts if an operator had not recently offered online games to the Dutch market and if there were “no other reasons to doubt [the operator’s] reliability.” In determining if an operator had offered games in the Netherlands, it would examine whether – in the previous 32 months – they offered games on .NL websites, their site or parts of it were in Dutch, they advertised in Dutch media or their site contained words, imagery or concepts typical of the Netherlands.

The regulator added that there was not a clear guideline for how many offences would see a licence application rejected, but more numerous or more recent offences would make rejection more likely.

The Remote Gambling Act is set to come into force on 1 March, 2021, with the online gambling market to then launch on 1 September. Originally, launch was scheduled for July 2020, but it was delayed to 1 January in November 2019, before another delay because of the novel coronavirus (COvid-19) crisis.

Last week, as well as details around Cruks, the KSA launched a consultation on the country’s new player protection rules. These rules included a ban on offering timed bonuses and a requirement for operators to conduct risk analysis of all their games.

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