Outgoing Dutch Regulators Critical Of Political Delays In Online Gambling Legalisation

Jan Suyver and Henk Kesler express frustrations

Monday saw the departure and redeployment of two of the Netherlands top regulators, Kansspelautoriteit‘s chairman and vice chairman Jan Suyver and Henk Kesler, after their six-year tenure in office came to a disappointing end.

Disappointing, because their expectations that legalised online gambling would be approved and implemented by Dutch politicians in 2012 have yet to be realised (after a decade of political argument and delays, the legislation remains mired in the Dutch Senate whilst yet another consultation is conducted).

Whilst acknowledging that online gambling is a complicated issue that evokes strong views on both sides, the duo lamented the lack of progress, labelling it a disgrace that the Netherlands is one of the last European nations to legalise, and attributing at least some of delays to religious parliamentarians in the Christian Union and the Christian Democratic Appeal.

In an interview with a Dutch financial newspaper Suyver went so far as to opine that lawmakers have a moral duty to get on with the approval and implementation of the stalled Remote Gaming Act to ensure that Dutch online punters are protected.

Kesler added an appeal for the regulator to be given the right authority and tools to efficiently enforce Dutch law against non-compliant international operators accessing Dutch gamblers, saying that taking on such operators was at present akin to entering a lion’s den armed only with a toothbrush.