Dutch Gaming Authority Tackles Illegal Offers via Affiliates

February 23, 2024 | Government

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (February 21, 2024) – Last year, De Kansspelautoriteit (Ksa) (Dutch Gaming Authority) conducted two investigations into advertising for illegal gambling offers via affiliate websites and websites of (online) newspapers. Through these websites, consumers were enticed to gamble with illegal providers of online gambling – especially if consumers were registered in the Centraal Register Uitsluiting Kansspelen (Cruks) for a gambling stop. As a result of the investigations, the Ksa took several actions: 14 of the 33 websites investigated were in violation. Tackling illegal providers will also be a high priority for the Ksa in 2024.

Vulnerable player

Affiliate marketing is a form of online marketing in which websites place advertisements and are paid by the advertiser for results achieved. Advertising illegal offers is prohibited. Nevertheless, the Ksa received several signals about this. For example, playing without Cruks was advertised. Cruks is the Central Register for the Exclusion of Gambling (gokstop.nl). Players registered in Cruks cannot play with legal providers. Actively advertising to this target group is therefore very harmful.

One investigation by the Ksa focused on websites that tempted consumers to play with illegal providers through advertisements on their website. And they specifically focus on vulnerable players. The Ksa investigated the most visited affiliate websites and found violations at four websites. The website owners seem to be hiding. The Ksa has therefore started a follow-up investigation.

Ban on untargeted advertising

The Ksa’s other investigation focused on affiliate marketing for illegal online casinos after the ban on untargeted advertising came into effect. It was expected that from July 2023, illegal providers would try to take advantage of the possible reduced visibility of legal providers. The Ksa investigated various reports about illegal affiliates. Ten websites were in violation. A proposed sanction decision by the Ksa ensured that five of them immediately stopped the violation. The investigation into the five other websites is still ongoing.

These investigations also revealed that seven illegal casinos were being advertised. The Ksa has started a sanctions process against all seven illegal providers.

In addition, six online newspapers were contacted by telephone and letter. The Ksa considers it undesirable that the public is referred via these channels to affiliates who advertise illegal games of chance. After contacting the Ksa, these parties took immediate action and the advertisements were no longer seen on the websites of the newspapers.

SOURCE: De Kansspelautoriteit.