KSA warns operators over ads aimed at young people

By Robert Fletcher

Dutch regulator de Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) issued warnings to a number of operators over their advertising policies, after raising concerns that their activities could attract minors and young adults to online gambling.

The KSA observed all 11 licensed operators in the country’s regulated igaming market, which launched on 1 October last year, and found three licensees intended to advertise on platforms primarily aimed at children and young adults.

These included the Donald Duck website, YouTube channel "TeenTok" and around television family programs such as "MarbleMania".

The regulator did not disclose the identity of the operators involved but did confirm that it issued an official warning to each of the licensees and ordered them to immediately adjust their advertising policy to prevent further regulatory action.

“Less serious deviations” were also identified at further seven operators and, as such, KSA ordered these licensees to take measures and adjust their strategies.

KSA added that if breaches of national laws related to gambling advertising were to take place, this could lead to fines for operators.

“The protection of vulnerable groups such as minors, young adults or problem players is a priority for the KSA,” KSA said. “They are extra sensitive to gambling addiction and are therefore not allowed to see gambling advertising.

“The law sets strict requirements for this. Even if advertising is outsourced, the licence-holder remains responsible. The agreements must be laid down in writing in advance.”

An initial 10 operators were issued online gambling licences by KSA. These included Bet365, UK-based bingo operator Tombola and Malta- and Estonia-licensed Play North, alongside Dutch land-based operator Holland Casino NV and state lottery Nederlandse Loterij with its TOTO Online betting brand.

The Janshen Hahnraths Group with FPO Nederland, Italy-based Betent, Belgian brand Bingoal, NSUS Malta, which runs the GGPoker.eu brand and sports media and betting business LiveScore Malta also secured licences.

JOI Gaming, a division of Dutch land-based casino operator JVH Gaming & Entertainment Group, also secured an online gambling licence in November.

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