The Netherlands: Draft Ministerial regulation published for public consultation

Yesterday, 24 July 2019, the Minister for Legal Protection published his draft ministerial regulation remote gambling (“RRG”) for public consultation. The RRG concerns the implementation of the Remote Gambling Act and the Remote Gambling Decree. Feedback and comments can be provided until 18 September 2019.

 

Background

Where the Remote Gambling Act is a formal (framework) law, the Remote Gambling Decree is a General Administrative Order (Algemene Maatregel van Bestuur or AMvB) containing material subject matters (which is currently being prepared by the Ministry). The Remote Gambling Act delegates details to be included in secondary legislation (the Remote Gambling Decree) and the Remote Gambling Decree on its turn sub-delegates further details to be implemented by the Minister for Legal Protection in further legislation (a Ministerial Order (Ministeriële Regeling or MR)), which has now been published for consultation as the RRG.

 

The online consultation for the RRG is open until 18 September 2019. This means that every interested party is invited to provide its comments to the RRG, which can be easily submitted online here.

 

Below, we discuss the most important topics in the RRG, among which some new advertising regulations. Based on this draft document, there doesn’t seem to be a total advertising ban in place.

 

Content

In summary, the RRG states the following:

  • Licences
    • As announced earlier, the application fee will be EUR 45,000.
    • Amendment fees for licences can reach up to EUR 8,000
    • In assessing an operator’s reliability and that of its key personnel and ultimate beneficial owners when applying for a license, the KSA not only takes into account previous law violations in the Netherlands, but also violations in other jurisdictions.
  • Remote lottery
    • In line with the draft Remote Gambling Decree, no remote lottery may be organized under a remote gambling licence.
    • It is up to the KSA to assess, at least under guidance of certain criteria in the RRG, what constitutes to be a remote lottery.
  • Organisation of remote gambling
    • Licensed remote gambling games may not lead to a player losing an amount higher than his bet.
    • Technical and operational criteria
      • Games can start only upon an explicit act by the player.
      • The operator ensures that players cannot simultaneously:
        • participate in two (or more) casino games offered by the same operator; and
        • participate in both a casino game and a betting game organised by the same operator.
      • In casino games against the operator, outcomes must be exclusively determined at random.
      • In casino games against other players, players must be given enough time to make a choice that influences the outcome of the game. If no choice is made, automatic choices must be the least impairing of the choices and may not unreasonably benefit a player or more players.
      • Winning a jackpot during licensed games must be complimentary to the participation in the games itself.
    • Integrity
      • Operators must employ an integrity policy.
      • Operators that organise betting games must employ personnel that is able to recognise indicators with regards to match fixing or manipulation.
      • Analysis of such indicators is not necessary with regards to a selection of events on professional national level (e.g. top level national sports leagues).
    • Access to licensed remote gambling games
      • Access to players is only possible upon identification through a unique identifier.
      • An operator ensures that certain categories of its own personnel or unreliable persons are excluded from play.
      • Involuntary suspension can be imposed upon a player up to a maximum of six months to allow the operator to perform research and consider further sanctions.
    • Consumer protection
      • An operator’s customer service monitors internal and external signals which may point to (risks of) gambling addiction.
      • Complaints from players are registered and handled within 72 hours
      • The operator ensures that it informs the player properly prior to licensed games, offering jackpots and offering betting games (the RRG describes what information needs to be provided, depending on the types of games, e.g. betting quotes).
    • The operator ensures that its internal systems and risk level meet the minimum standards as set out in the Remote Gambling Decree and the RRG and that such systems are properly certified accordingly.
  • Supervision and enforcement
    • Registration obligations
      • These include, inter alia, details on players, games played, the sessions and rounds  in which games are played, interruptions of play, integrity and reliability issues, payment transactions and the activities of representatives of an operator. Such details are registered upon the moment they are generated or, when that is not possible, promptly thereafter. Such records are kept for a minimum of three years, unless prescribed otherwise by law.
    • Reporting obligations
      • These include inter alia, include details on registered players, integrity-related actions, denied payment transactions and complaints from players. Operators must report these details at least once every year to the KSA.
    • The operator ensures the integrity of the data included in the Control Database (which we reported on earlier here under 3) and such Control Database must be physically located in premises that are freely accessible to enforcement officials without prior consent from third parties.
  • Advertising
    • New advertising rules are included in the existing regulation for acquisition, advertising and prevention of addiction of gambling.
      • Operators may not use the services of individual athletes for the advertising purposes; sponsoring individual athletes is however permitted.
      • Advertising is not allowed when supplying information with regards to the prevention of addiction to gambling.
      • An operator may not offer a bonus to a player during participation in games organised by such operator and within 60 days after an operator has excluded a player from play.
    • Prevention of gambling addiction
      • Additional requirements are included regarding education in the field of gambling addiction prevention for employees of operators.
      • New rules regarding the gambling addiction policy and disclosure of information towards players are included.
      • New rules regarding supervision of and intervention in players’ behaviour are included.

 

  • Betting prohibition
    • No betting is allowed with respect certain types of sport events (e.g. win/loss individual games and sets at tennis and fouls/first throw-in/first corner/yellow en red cards, including the recipients thereof

 

There is no English translation available yet. As described above, feedback and comments can be provided until 18 September 2019. Should you wish to issue comments, please contact your usual contacts at DLA Piper.

 

 

Sharif Ibrahim and Richard van Schaik