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Kansspelautoriteit acknowledges operators’ uncertainty ahead of advertising ban

René Jansen, Chair of Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has addressed Dutch operators, recognizing their concerns and limited guidance as the nation’s online gambling untargeted advertising ban looms.

Speaking at the Gaming in Holland conference, Jansen admitted that the KSA is stepping into uncharted territory, making it challenging to provide comprehensive guidance. While operators seek clarity to avoid surprise fines, Jansen encouraged them to take a proactive approach rather than relying solely on regulatory guidance.

The upcoming untargeted advertising ban, set to take effect on July 1, has left Dutch gambling operators grappling with uncertainty. Jansen, however, acknowledged their concerns during his speech at the Gaming in Holland conference. He emphasized that the regulatory authority also faces a new and unexplored landscape, limiting their ability to offer extensive guidance at this stage.

Jansen expressed his understanding of operators’ desire for clear directives, as they strive to navigate the uncharted territory of the advertising ban. Operators hope to avoid any unexpected penalties that could arise from inadvertently violating the new regulations. However, Jansen cautioned that the KSA can only provide limited guidance due to the complexity and novelty of the ban.

While the lack of comprehensive guidance may be challenging for operators, Jansen urged them not to passively wait for further instructions. Instead, he encouraged them to take a proactive approach, emphasizing the importance of finding innovative ways to comply with the upcoming regulations.

Drawing an analogy to traffic safety, Jansen advised operators, “When in doubt, no passing.” He emphasized the need for operators to go beyond the minimum requirements and make additional efforts to ensure their advertising efforts align with the ban’s objectives. For instance, if an operator is uncertain whether their land-based gambling advertisements sufficiently differ from online gambling promotions, they should strive to create even more distinct advertising content.

Addressing concerns about the target audience of online advertisements, Jansen urged operators to exercise caution. Instead of taking risks, operators should consider refraining from displaying the ads altogether if they are unsure whether the majority of viewers are adults over 24 years of age.

Jansen stressed the importance of maintaining public confidence in the gambling industry. He noted that public trust in the sector is fragile and highlighted the need for operators to demonstrate their commitment to fair and responsible gambling practices. By adhering to a higher standard of player protection, operators can contribute to rebuilding trust within the industry.

The KSA Chair also discussed the Control Database (CDB) and the challenges faced by licensees in linking to the system. He emphasized the significance of the data vault requirement for licensed operators, as it is essential for ensuring a safe and secure gambling environment. Jansen stated that the KSA would not grant licensees additional time to comply with the CDB linking requirement, adding that failure to comply could lead to the suspension or complete revocation of licenses.

Jansen also touched on the ongoing investigation into operators’ duty of care for players. While the results of the investigation will be presented later this summer, he highlighted the need for operators to exercise common sense and use their duty of care obligations to protect players from problem gambling and potential money laundering risks.

In conclusion, Jansen recognized the challenges posed by the upcoming untargeted advertising ban. He urged operators to take a proactive approach and find innovative solutions to comply with the new regulations.

By exceeding the minimum requirements, operators can contribute to rebuilding public trust in the gambling industry. Jansen emphasized that while the KSA’s guidance may be limited, the authority will continue to monitor the implementation of the new rules and provide operators with additional insights when necessary.

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