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Could you imagine a country where drugs and prostitution are legal while gambling is in a tight chokehold? Take a few seconds and try your best. Well, we’re speaking about the Netherlands, home to many kinds of frivolous things except for gambling, which has been strangled – aka monopolised – for decades.
On the bright side, though, the long-overdue breakthrough is looming. The half-century-old legislation is about to fall as the Dutch Senate approved the Remote Gambling Act in February of 2019, giving way to a completely new online gambling paradigm. But before we elaborate on it, let’s take a quick dive into the history of gambling in the Netherlands.
CENTRALISED NATURE OF GAMBLING IN THE NETHERLANDS
Holland has been restrictive on gambling throughout its history. From the first all-encompassing gambling-related legislation in 1964 – the one that marked the emergence of the Dutch gambling and betting landscape, and would remain intact for five decades – to the inception of the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) in 2012, the Dutch government has always wanted to keep gambling under close control, a state of affairs that prevented any possibility of third-party providers entering the local market.
But all’s well that ends well. In 2019, the Dutch Senate approved the Remote Gambling Act, the well-anticipated document to disrupt the current monopoly of the state. From 1 March 2021, third-party casino operators can apply for a Dutch gambling licence. It’s expected that all successful applicants will open their doors on 1 September 2021, but since the date has already been shifted three times, don’t bet against yet another delay happenning.
CASINO PROVIDERS AND AFFILIATES ARE GETTING READY FOR THEIR PIECE OF THE PIE
With or without delays, though, the new era is imminent, so everybody is getting ready, including both mindful casinos and their affiliates such as the authors of this article, OnlineCasinoHEX.
It will be possible to apply for a licence covering four types of online gambling: casino against-the-machine games, casino player-vs-player games, sports betting, and horse racing and harness racing betting. Obtaining a licence won’t be easy for either operators or affiliates as the conservative Dutch government remains extremely cautious as to whom they will welcome into the new market. Here are just a few conditions potential candidates should meet (in addition to the application fee of €48,000):
- Reliability: must have a clear history and have examined affiliates.
- Expertise: must have a plan as to how they are going to maintain the ‘appropriate expertise’ in games of chance.
- Continuity: must guarantee its solvency.
- Addiction prevention: must have a gambling addiction policy in place.
Affiliates will also be subject to a similarly rigorous examination as the Dutch government will likely follow the lead of those operating in the strictest European jurisdictions, such as the UK Gambling Commission. With that in mind, we can assume all affiliate websites will have to meet the requirements given below, give or take. Moreover, most affiliates should be implementing these right.
MUST-HAVES FOR AFFILIATE WEBSITES
18 + and Gamble Aware logos
The internet audience is getting younger, so it’s no wonder preventing underage gambling is one of the paramount conditions to follow. Even though gambling is mostly an infrequent and inconsequential pastime among young people, 2-5% of underage gamblers experience gambling addiction, a ratio by times higher than that in adults. This leads to the conclusion that young players are more prone to becoming addicts and therefore any prevention measures are justified.
As an affiliate, you will be asked to place 18+ and ‘Gamble Aware’ logotypes on your website, as well as avoiding child-friendly materials and images; for the latter, there are ready-made lists of negative keywords and child-friendly images.
Properly constructed banners
Counterintuitively, new generations pay as much attention to ads as baby boomers and experienced users alike, at least according to statistics: the global ad spend in banner advertising is expected to reach $59 million this year, demonstrating an impressive CARG of 5.4%.
It is expected that would-be requirements of banner ads might include:
- Dedicating at least 15% of the banner space to messages about responsible gambling.
- Having affiliate ads marked as #ads in banners.
- Avoiding banned keywords and images.
‘New customers only’ sign for sign-up bonuses
A sign-up bonus, or registration bonus, is a one-time bonus granted to newly registered users, usually those who have deposited a specific minimum amount of money. Not to lead clients astray, affiliate websites will likely be asked to mention that sign-up bonuses can a) only be used once by new customers; and b) must be activated within a certain time after the completion of the registration.
All significant bonus terms and conditions must be displayed
Since some casinos are trying to lure gamblers into buying nonsense perks by announcing only the most luscious part of the deal while hiding away the info on the wagering requirements and the important details alike, most jurisdictions require affiliates to display all the significant parts of the offer in the banner or whatever ads they use, and rightly so. For example, if the $1,000 bonus can only be unlocked by wagering 50 times the bonus amount, then this condition must be placed right before the viewers’ eyes.
KYC and verification for affiliates
Most jurisdictions don’t make KYC and verification an obligatory requirement for affiliates, but considering the conservative character of the Dutch authorities, this might become the case. If so, then any website affiliated with the casino licensed in the Netherlands will have to complete KYC and verification checks, which boils down to providing your proof of ID, address, and sometimes also a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation.
Licensed casinos only
Last but not least, it’s clear that affiliate websites can only work with licensed casinos as otherwise the whole shebang just makes no sense. Not only are unlicensed hubs beyond the Dutch gambling laws, but they are untrustworthy partners per se.
THERE’S NO CRYSTAL BALL TO PREDICT THE FUTURE
It goes without saying that complying with everything above is crucial for any affiliated website as otherwise it might be disqualified as the one putting the casino’s earnings and gambling compliance at risk. That said, the requirements and regulations for affiliates are different across the world and therefore it’s impossible to accurately predict all the conditions that will be put forward in front of the affiliates willing to partner with the casinos licensed in the Netherlands. With that, we have nothing left to say – let’s just wait for the Dutch authorities to take action on their end.