32 social media investigations in the Netherlands

In a press release, the Dutch gaming regulator, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has published statistics on the various activities it carried out in the first half of 2023. On this occasion, we learn that 32 investigations were carried out against social media outlets allegedly publishing illegal gambling offers.

On July 1, under the initiative of the Minister of Legal Protection, Franc Weerwind, the Netherlands introduced a ban on all forms of gambling advertising. This applies to advertising on television, radio, in the press and in public places. Promotion of gambling on the Internet, social networks and video-on-demand platforms is permitted, but must target people over the age of 24.

Meta (Facebook, Instagram) accused of illegal gambling promotion

In the Netherlands, the KSA has said that ads promoting illegal gambling have been detected on social media owned by Mark Zuckerberg’s company Meta, including Facebook and Instagram. Dutch regulator also suggested that the responsible accounts were blocked after KSA sent a report to the parent company, which was accompanied by a financial penalty.

The press release also relays that in the first six months of the current year, KSA carried out a large number of investigations into the promotion of illegal gambling in the country, not without some success. In the wake of this, several sanctions were issued to iGaming operators. The KSA also describes this as a rewarding experience, as the various investigations have led to the development of new investigative methods.

Sanctions imposed on 8 operators running unauthorized platforms

The KSA also explained that it had issued sanctions against the operators of eight websites offering illegal online gambling. Technically, once the KSA has sent its letter of formal notice to the companies concerned, they have two options: either cease their activity immediately, or pay a penalty payment proportional to the period of delay in fulfilling their obligations.

In all cases, the Kansspelautoriteit has the means to impose a final order with financial penalties, particularly in the event of refusal to comply. For example, in the first half of 2023, the KSA issued orders against three iGaming providers. Concerning the eight illegal websites mentioned abovethe KSA has decided to take enforcement action against four of them.

Last but not least, the Dutch regulator has highlighted the increasing use of crypto-currencies as a payment method. Six investigations related to Bitcoin payments by Internet gambling operators were carried out in 2023, and a sanction was issued in each case.

Kayleigh Williams