Dutch regulator names Jansen as new chair

24 August 2018

The Netherlands Gambling Authority (KSA) has appointed René Jansen as its new chairman ahead of crunch talks with the government over new gambling regulation in the country.

Jansen, who most recently served on the executive board at the Dutch Healthcare Authority, will take on his new role from October 1.

Earlier in his career, Jansen also had a spell with the former Dutch Competition Authority, and worked at the Ministries of Economic Affairs and Social Affairs & Employment.

Jansen will replace Jan Suyver, whose departure was confirmed earlier this year, while Marja Appelman also announced her exit as chief executive of the KSA in July.

Last month, KSA board member Joop Pot told iGamingBusiness.com the regulator, which recently rebranded from the Netherlands Gaming Authority, was to shift from a structure of three part-time board members and one director to two full-time board members and no director.

To this end, in addition to Jansen, the KSA has named Bernadette van Buchem as its vice-chairman, effective October 15.

Van Buchem is currently director of consumers at the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets, and previously held various roles at ABD Interim, the group of interim managers of the Dutch government.

The KSA said in a statement: “The Gaming Authority sees Jansen and van Buchem as the right people to continue the course taken by the KSA and to lead the organisation through the planned modernisation of the gaming policy.”

The double appointment comes at a time when two pieces of legislation hang in the balance in the Netherlands.

The Senate is yet to approve the Remote Gaming Bill, which would make online games of chance legal in the country. The Modernisation Casino Regime Bill, which focuses on the privatisation of Holland Casino, also awaits approval.

In June, Dutch Minister for Legal Protection, Sander Dekker, proposed a revised framework for licensed operators in the Netherlands, focusing on enhancing consumer protection measures.

The letter to legislators revitalised a bill that had been lying dormant for nearly two years following approval by the parliament's lower house.

Speaking to iGamingBusiness.com last month, Pot said that a meeting of the Committee of Justice and Security on September 13 would provide a platform for the first formal parliamentary reaction to Dekker’s letter.

Meanwhile, the KSA has issued Betsson Group subsidiary Corona with a fine of €300,000 (£270/700/$347,900) for operating in the Dutch market without a local licence.

The regulator made the ruling after carrying out an investigation into Corona and its Oranje and Kroon brands.

Various other Betsson entities were also probed by the KSA, but the regulator did not note any further violations and no action was taken.

In a statement issued to iGamingBusiness.com, Pia Rosin, vice-president of corporate communications at Betsson, confirmed Corona is currently assessing the option to appeal the ruling.

“We will carefully follow the progress of the legislative process,” Rosin said. “We hope there will be a new law and then we know what the licence requirements are.”

Pontus Lindwall, chief executive of Betsson, also said in a statement: “Betsson shares KSA’s ambition to achieve a high channelisation of customers into any future locally regulated environment in the Netherlands and supports the Dutch government’s ambition in moving forward with the legislative process.

“Corona will assess whether to appeal the sanction against them. Also, we will carefully follow the progress of the legislative process. We hope that there will be a new law and then we know what the licence requirements are.”

Betsson acquired Corona in 2014 in anticipation of the re-regulation of the Dutch online gaming market, which had been scheduled for 2015.

The lower house of the Dutch parliament approved the Remote Gaming Bill in 2016, but this is still awaiting approval from the Senate.

In June, it was revealed the country’s coalition government intends to resume the process with the aim of introducing new regulation by 2020.

Image: KSA