Kansspelautorteit Restates Its Enforcement Policy (Update)

Says CJEU ruling has no relevance on Dutch policy

The judgement handed down by the Court of Justice for the European Union (CJEU) in the Unibet vs Hungary challenge contains no considerations relevant to Dutch gaming policy, the Kansspelautoriteit said in a statement this week.

Unibet won its case against Hungary when the CJEU ruled  that European Union (EU) member states who persecute EU licensed operators by excluding them from national licensing processes are in breach of EU law and cannot apply enforcement actions such as fines or ISP blocking (see previous InfoPowa report).

Kansspelautoriteit said fines imposed on illegal operators have been challenged in the past and had “always passed the test” with all legal proceedings concerning sanctions being upheld by numerous courts.  As such it intends continuing with its enforcement policies as they stand.

While recognising the difficulty in getting illegal operators to honor the penalties imposed on them, the Authority said it intends to propose and agree with other jurisdictional authorities support in extracting fines from their own licensees on behalf of partner jurisdictions.

Vice president of the Kansspelautoriteit, Henk Kesler, hailed its recent enforcement policy saying it had yielded strong results with many illegal operators using Dutch payment services and Dutch-specific branding exiting the market.

“As long as the bill has not been approved by the law, online offerings that are aimed at the Dutch market remain forbidden,” Kesler said, reiterating that those who choose to continue plying their trade will not be considered for licensing when the law eventually comes into effect.