The Dutch Gaming Authority has announced that it will seek to investigate websites that promote gambling products to vulnerable gamblers. Specifically, the KSA will be targeting the promotion of illegal online games of chance, the watchdog said in a press release. These websites are known as "affiliates" in industry jargon, and they have been paid to direct traffic back to operators as they receive a commission on each successful person that registers at a promoted website.
KSA has become aware of a new type of affiliates which target vulnerable consumers by making sure that their domain names and addresses are listed as "casinos without self-exclusion," "casino without licenses" or "casino without Cruks" whereby Cruks is the Dutch national self-exclusion program which blocks access to regulated gambling websites in the country if a person is experiencing trouble controlling their gambling habits.
The people who enroll in Cruks, or the Central Register Exclusion of Games of Chance, do so because they are struggling to manage their gambling or have developed a gambling addiction and have problems with the activity itself. Most of the people placed in Cruks have done so voluntarily and targeting them is what the regulator calls "extra bad."
These websites, the KSA argues, are undoubtedly going after vulnerable gamblers who are trying keep their gambling habit under control but are purposefully offered the opportunity to fall into bad habits again, the regulator says.
These affiliates are vile as they seek out to actively drive traffic to unregulated websites which have a patchy track record of consumer safety as well. More importantly, no affiliate should try to actively help people on an exclusion list to gamble again, the regulator concluded.
The KSA has been very active over gambling-law regulations in the Netherlands. Previously, the watchdog issued warnings against two operators which were found to be coming short of the country’s Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act.
The regulator has been similarly keeping an eye on the World Cup that kicked off over the weekend and has cautioned operators to be particularly mindful of the way they promote gambling content to sports fans during the period of heightened interest in this activity.
The KSA has so far been doing very well in managing the gambling industry, although the regulator believes there is still more to be done to protect consumers. There is still room for improvement the watchdog argues, a year after online gambling became legal in the Netherlands.
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