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Dutch regulator takes action against 15 affiliate websites

| By Robert Fletcher
Dutch regulator de Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has taken action against 15 affiliate websites it said were advertising illegal online games of chance to players in the country.

From a total of 22 investigations, the regulator identified 15 websites that had breached the Dutch Gambling Act and were as such deemed to have broken national law.

KSA did not disclose the identity of any of the affiliates or the sites they were promoting, but it did state that 13 of the affiliates could be subject to a penalty, depending on what action they take in response to the KSA warning. The other two sites remain under investigation.

In some cases, the KSA said that the affiliate immediately stopped advertising for unlicensed providers, while other affiliates switched to advertising for licensed operators.

At the first instance, KSA issues a cease-and-desist order to affiliates, after which it carries out re-inspections to monitor activity. If the website does not halt illegal activities, then KSA can issue a financial penalty.

“Offering games of chance without a license is prohibited; the same applies to advertising games of chance that are not licensed,” KSA said. “With affiliate marketing, sites receive money when they click through to the online game of chance and the KSA periodically conducts research into these advertisers.”

In May, KSA warned it was to commence a new round of action against affiliates offering unlicensed gambling in the jurisdiction.

This followed a previous round of action when KSA said examined 44 websites, which were reported upon and sanctions were subsequently imposed.

Of the websites examined, 26 were found to be promoting online gambling and forced to remove adverts, with 20 removing them immediately, three upon warnings from KSA that a penalty may be applied, while three subject to further investigation.

The announcement comes after the Dutch government this week published a new report that suggested ordering unlicensed operators to stop passively accepting bets from Dutch customers helped channel players to licensed igaming sites.

The report included data on the number of visits to gambling websites recorded in the Netherlands from 1 October, when the country’s igaming market opened.

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