Netherlands: KSA increases penalties for coronavirus ads

KSA Warning

Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Dutch gambling regulator, has said that fines for coronavirus-related ads will be increased by at least €50,000.

The KSA is aware of brands using terms such as ‘coronavrij gokken’ (corona-free gambling) and will regard these as a ‘penalty-enhancing circumstance’.

The new fine 

As a result of this increase, the minimum punishment for guilty operators will be €250,000. This represents a 25% increase on the current penalty for illegal activity.

Authorities have the right to increase this fee, should they feel that the ad’s content is worthy of doing so.

Land-based operators warned too 

In a bid to halt the spread of Covid-19, retail casino outlets across the Netherlands are closed for now. However, the KSA says that these casinos also have a duty to avoid references of the pandemic in their advertising.

Article 4A of the current Dutch gambling act states that operators must moderate their advertising. If brands refer to the ongoing situation, this will be considered a breach – according to the country’s regulator.

However, informing that prize draws need to be cancelled, postponed or adjusted do not constitute to advertising.

Coming soon: a legalised online gambling market

Online gambling in the Netherlands will be opened up from July 1st, 2021. Six months prior to that, it’s expected that the KSA shall begin accepting operator licence applications.

When it first became aware of coronavirus-related advertising, KSA Chairman René Jansen warned that similar gimmicks “will weigh heavily in a possible application” for operators.

Jansen also referred to the actions as “completely objectionable”.