The Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), which is the main regulatory gambling body in the Netherlands, has strengthen its efforts in try to get the country's Senate to finally pass a new gambling bill, replacing the old and inadequate regulation dating back to 1964. Right now, the Netherlands is one of the few European countries that haven't put online gambling inside a legal framework and the KSA hopes this could change in the near future.
Working with Hands Tied Behind Their Backs
So far, the regulator has been doing its best to combat illegal gambling, but according to Jan Suyver, the KSA chairman, their efforts have been strongly limited by the lack of regulation. He describes the current situation as trying to mop the floor with the tap open, meaning that there is only so much the regulator can do on its own, without proper support from the legislators.
Late last year, the government ordered the KSA to stop targeting gambling providers in the country. Before this, the Dutch high court also ruled that various payment service providers are free to process payments to and from the said providers. The regulator tried to prevent these practices by claiming they fall under the "promotion" part of the Betting and Gaming Act, but judges didn't share the same view.
Creating Safe & Regulated Market
The KSA believes it is high time for the lawmakers to make their move and pass the bill that's been collecting dust in the filing cabinets for some time now. Apart from instituting clear rules and practices, the regulator also calls for better protection for problem gamblers.
This would be achieved through a special addiction fund and by creating a single, central registry for all problem gamblers. This would finally create an environment where Dutch players could enjoy online gambling protected from predatory, rogue, and illegal operators.
The ball is now in Senate's court and the KSA hopes that the new gambling bill will come to the agenda soon, after being stalled by the elections held last year.