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Dutch regulator issues warning over gambling promotions


The Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Dutch gambling regulator, has sounded a note of warning to operators concerning the use of “promotional games of chance”. Although the games are not against the law, the warning comes after the authority noticed an increased use of such promotions by gaming and wagering operators.

According to the regulator, promotional games of chance include all contests where people play to win prizes and their success is majorly determined by luck. A common example is the placement of promotional codes on bottle caps for consumers to stand the chance of winning a prize. Another is the ‘like and win’ games on social media.

Based on Dutch law, gambling operators are allowed to run these contests; however, they must be done under the code of conduct for promotional games of chance, which comes with terms and conditions.

One of the conditions stipulated by the code is that companies can only run such promotional contests once a year per “product, service or organisation”. In addition, the contests are temporary and are limited to just 20 draws per contest. Finally, the total value of prizes offered by operators cannot be more than €100,000 per year. This means the more contests a company runs, the less the value of their prizes.

Even though these contests are legal and do not require a permit, the KSA still counts them as gambling when conducted by gaming and wagering operators. Therefore, online casinos and sports betting companies are subject to tighter regulations than other businesses when it comes to such promotional activity.

“The KSA sees that gaming providers also use such promotional games of chance to attract more participants,” it said.

“If they do this, they must take into account that the stricter rules according to the Gambling Act and the associated lower regulations apply to them.

“These are there to protect consumers against the risks associated with games of chance, such as developing gambling addiction.”

In addition, the regulator emphasised that operators should ensure they do not target minors. It added that it would be monitoring the companies and that any violation would be subject to immediate action.

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