Dutch Match-Fixing Guidelines Amended

After countless months of endless delays, the Netherlands’ Remote Gambling Act (KOA) is set to come into effect on April 1st, 2021, with the regulated iGaming market opening up in October 2021. The country’s chief gambling authority, the Kansspelautoriteit, has now announced changes to rules concerning money laundering and match-fixing.

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The Netherlands’ main gambling regulator, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has announced changes to rules concerning money laundering and match fixing. The news comes ahead of the ratification of the country’s Remote Gambling Act (KOA) on April 1st, followed by the official launch of the country’s iGaming market on October 1st. ©8300/Pixabay

Dutch Gaming Authority Amends Money Laundering Act

The Netherlands’ main gambling regulator, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), is gearing up for the launch of the country’s iGaming market this year after several delays and roadblocks.

The law which will put iGaming and the regulations surrounding it into effect is the Dutch Remote Gambling Act (KOA), scheduled to come into effect on April 1st, 2021 after months of delays. 

The opening of the market itself is set to follow not long thereafter — on October 1st, 2021.

However, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has not yet finished finalizing the legalese surrounding the official launch of iGaming in the Netherlands.

The authority has now shifted its attention to the country’s Act on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (WWFT), seeing as the act had only applied to Holland Casino — the country’s sole license holder for casino games (though not for much longer).

The act’s guidelines concerning factors such as identification and verification, as well as crediting and debiting gaming accounts, have been further clarified. 

This move follows a consultation on the matter and arrives just in time for the implementation of the Dutch Remote Gambling Act (KOA) on April 1st, 2021.

Reporting of Suspicious Transactions is Biggest Change to Act

The Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) explained how the most significant change that has occurred as part of these amendments is the adding of the risk of the manipulation of sports matches, more commonly known as match fixing, to the act’s guidelines.

In its current form, the section on usual payments in the Act on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (WWFT) specifies that transactions identified as money laundering or transactions worth more than €15,000 must be reported to the Netherland’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) — a state agency tasked with investigating money laundering and terrorist financing.

Furthermore, the rules in the very same section state that if a transaction prompts suspicions of match fixing, it must likewise be reported to the FIU, as such cases are more often than not connected to money laundering schemes.

There is a 14-day timeframe during which the appropriate authorities must be notified of such suspicious transactions. The confidentiality and anonymity surrounding reporting have already been outlined in the WWFT act’s guidelines.

Lastly, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has also announced that it will be providing tools to gambling operators to help them comply with these new obligations. 

These can be used, for example, as help in finalizing their documents when applying for a gambling license once the Dutch Remote Gambling Act (KOA) launches in April.

New Guidelines Follow Repeated Delay of iGaming Launch

As the Netherlands’ chief gambling authority, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), finalizes its remaining regulations, the Dutch Remote Gambling Act (KOA) is finally set to come into law on April 1st, 2021, following a protracted legal saga which saw repeated delays to the launch of the Netherlands’ iGaming market.

The Dutch Remote Gambling Act (KOA) was initially supposed to come into effect on July 1st, 2020, with the regulated iGaming market scheduled to open six months later — at the start of 2021.

The first of several delays arrived in November 2019, pushing back the gambling act’s launch date by six months. The expectation now became that the legislation would launch in January 2021, with the official market launch arriving on July 1st of the same year.

However a further delay in September 2020 pushed back the KOA to March 1st, 2021, and therefore the market launch further into 2021. This delay in particular was blamed on disruptions caused by the global coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

And then in January 2021, the Minister for Legal Protection in the Netherlands Sander Dekker pushed back the date the KOA law will come into effect to April 1st, 2021.

After fielding questions and complaints from regulators, Dekker emphasized that this latest delay was highly necessary in order for the Dutch government to better implement laws surrounding regulating the market. The hope here is that a more careful approach will result in a stronger legal and regulatory framework for the market to thrive on.

The actual launch of the Netherlands’ regulated iGaming market is now scheduled for October 1st, 2021.

KSA Recently Issued Record Penalty Fines

In other recent news, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) recently issued severe fines and penalties against Curacao-licensed operator Virtual Coin Gaming.

The operator was hit with a hefty €500,000 (£450,000/$613,000) fine, along with a €100,000 penalty related to an individual involved with the operator, after it was caught offering illegal online games of chance targeting Dutch gamblers through its websites www.futgalaxy.nl and nl.futgamer.com.

Seeing as the games that were being offered were connected to FIFA Ultimate Team, a card game that comes as part of EA Sports’ highly popular FIFA video game franchise, the regulator’s worry here was that minors had taken part in gambling — or at least had been specifically targeted.

It is also worth mentioning that the card game is in fact still banned in the Netherlands, as are all forms of online gambling, until the country’s regulated online gambling market launches later in 2021.

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