gambling, casinos, online gambling

What affiliate managers should know about the Dutch online gambling market

Affiliate managers in the online gambling sector can now receive a Quality Mark to prove that they are a safe casino to use.

Gambling in the Netherlands

Historically strict on gambling, the Netherlands has recently decided to slacken their tight lid on online gambling, including online marketing. This will allow affiliate marketing to blossom in a new sector in the Netherlands, allowing for profit across the industry.

Earlier this year, the Dutch Senate approved the Remote Gambling Act, which had its market launch on October 1st. It states that online casinos will have to gain a licence from the Netherlands Gambling Authority, as well as impose additional requirements concerning addiction prevention, advertising, and recruitment. Among these changes is the need for casino operators to gain a Quality Mark by Keurmerk Verantwoorde Affiliates (or KVA) in order to be recognised as a legal and safe casino.

The KVA will verify how an affiliate respects the regulation laid out by the Dutch. The purpose of the Quality Mark is to ensure that casino affiliates will demonstrate that they will comply with the law. Among these regulations is a need for complete transparency and fairness when it comes to games of chance, for example.

The idea of the Quality Mark, according to the KVA, is to give confidence to the Dutch consumer, since the KVA aims to keep its Dutch clients in the Netherlands.

The KVA said: “This quality mark serves as an indication that a Dutch online casino affiliate complies with laws and regulations (for example, with regard to recruitment and advertising activities and responsible gaming). We carry out a strict compliance check, and then grant the quality mark if the conditions are met.”

Since 1964, Holland has kept tight control of the gambling industry, only allowing land-based gambling under strict supervision and therefore affiliate marketing has stalled in the gambling sector. With the introduction of the Remote Gambling Act, affiliate marketing teams in casinos should gear up to start business in the Netherlands.

According to the Dutch Gambling Authority, the gambling market is projected to reach 1.1 billion by 2024, so this recent relaxing of gambling laws will come at the perfect time.

However, the purpose of the KVA is not to enforce the rules and regulations, but to simply verify that they are being respected. It is up to the casino and the affiliates to ensure that they comply with the requirements – and there are a lot of requirements to be met.

Who can get a licence?

The Dutch government is staying strict on who should gain a gambling licence, with operators and affiliates both expecting to have difficulty negotiating with the conservative Dutch Government. Some of the conditions expected to be met are reliability, with a clear history and examined affiliates, expertise, proven with a plan on how they will maintain the “appropriate expertise” in games of chance, continuity, by guaranteeing solvency, and an approved addiction prevention policy in place.

Affiliates will also be under the glare of the Dutch government’s microscope. The Dutch government is expected to follow the lead of the European Union and the UK Gambling Commission and implement laws similar to their strictest examples.

What restrictions can we expect?

With that in mind, some of the restrictions can be educationally guessed. Although the laws haven’t been outlined yet we can assume there will be a need for 18+ and Gamble Aware logos, which are required on every legal UK gambling site in an attempt to deter underage gambling. Underage gamblers experience a much higher rate of gambling addiction, approximately 2-5%. Affiliates should be required to place 18+ and Gamble Aware logos on their websites, as well as avoiding child-friendly materials and images. You can look up lists of negative keywords and images online.

Banners will also be under scrutiny, with regulations that might involve dedicating at least 15% of the banner space to messages about responsible gambling, marking affiliate ads in banners with #ad and avoiding banned keywords and images.

Sign-up bonuses will now be required to mention that they can only be used once, by new customers and must be activated within a certain amount of time after registration. Terms and conditions will be required to be clearly stated alongside games and perks, and, although obvious, affiliate websites must only work with licenced casinos. This would probably suit affiliates fine enough, as, not only are they considered illegal to the Dutch government, but they would make for untrustworthy affiliate partners.

Even with these restrictions, the gambling industry is a stable source of profit for many and looks to continue to be for decades yet. Affiliates can benefit by getting involved with the gambling sector in a country newly welcoming gambling.

For more information on managing an affiliate team, you can take a look at our AffiliateINSIDER guides. Or for a more personalised experience, book a free call with a member of our team for more assistance in this area.

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