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Stricter penalties for Netherlands iGaming operators

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New minimum betting age for Belgium casino players and other changes to Netherlands iGaming operators.

The online gaming landscape has changed quite a lot in recent years, with a dedicated focus on responsible gambling.

For players in the Netherlands and Belgium, recent changes might be seen as a noose or an additional layer of safety.

More online gambling changes for Netherlands casino operators and a raised minimum betting age for Belgium players are on the cards.

New mandate

The Dutch Parliament has approved a new mandate requiring the government to introduce stricter cross-operator deposit limits. As well as a stricter regulatory crackdown.

Let’s take a look at what the new mandate entails:

Loss limits

The first request is for a universal loss limit spanning all 27 licensed Dutch gaming operators, and there is no option to increase the loss limit.

This would require changes to the Remote Gambling Act (KOA), which has been in force since 1 April 2021.

These new consumer protection measures for the Netherlands iGaming market, introduced on 13 February 2024, mean that deposit limits cannot be raised with affordability checks.

Risk checks

When it comes to players in the Netherlands, it seems that there is a great dedication to providing them with a secure environment to play while eliminating any possible risks of gambling harm. Minister for Legal Protections Franc Weerwind said there will be a spending restriction of €150 for players under the age of 24.

Despite the current changes, MP Bikker wants the Minister to rethink the way they’re implementing gambling protections to set a fixed loss limit for KOA operations by the end of the year.

Stricter penalties

Michiel van Nispen, a member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands for the Socialist Party, proposed a second motion to impose stricter financial penalties on gambling violations.

According to Nispen, these fines and measures are vital to combat illegal gambling companies. The idea is to follow up a warning with a hurtful fine, which may make these companies think twice before considering any activity violating the laws.

Ban on online gambling advertisement

The last of their motions clarified that the majority wants a blanket ban on gambling advertising, as CDA MP Derk Bosswijk proposed.

Unfortunately, the motion fell short by 6 votes, failing to achieve the required 76 majority votes. Despite being rejected by the Kamer, the Dutch ministers insist that overreaching player limits must form part of ongoing amendments to the KOA Act.

Statista shows that the Netherlands’ online gambling market is set to reach a revenue of around US$1.19 billion with an annual growth rate of 5.60%, which can lead to a projected revenue of US$1.48 billion by 2028.

If you want more information on gambling regulations in the Netherlands, check out our insightful guide.

Belgium’s raised gambling age

There are also new additions to the gambling restrictions in Belgium that ensure a new minimum gambling age applies to both online and offline casino players. The increase will see the gambling age go from 18 to 21, a decision approved by the Chamber of Deputies.

Aside from raising the gambling age, the bill is set to ban any bonuses or gambling advertisements. The National Lottery, however, will be excluded from the ban. On top of that, online gambling operators in Western European Countries can no longer offer more than one type of gambling, meaning no sports and casino action via the same page.

It comes as no surprise that this severely strict new regulatory framework has been met with heavy criticism by the Belgian Association of Gaming Operators (BAGO). The big concern is that these efforts to protect players will harm licensed operators and drive players to unlicensed providers.

Published: March 15, 2024

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Article by Polly

CasinoWow Contributor

Hey guys, my name is Polina but my friends and colleagues call me Polly. I am truly passionate about online casino gaming and exploring the different online gambling experiences. I'm really into diving deep into topics and researching all the details. My aim is to gather the best information and write interesting articles for all the readers at CasinoWow.

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