Dutch regulator to prioritise age verification

5 December 2019

Operators in the Netherlands who fail to verify the age of players risk being added to a ‘bad actor’ list ahead of the introduction of the country’s licensed gambling framework in 2021.

The KSA, the Dutch gaming authority, said that from the start of 2020, online gambling operators who do not visibly confirm the age of participants before the registration process is completed will be dealt with as a priority.

They risk being handed a fine and effectively being black-listed when the country’s online gambling sector is opened up starting in January 2021.

The KSA said only an objective means of proof can be used for age verification.

“Failure to verify age before the registration process has been completed also has consequences in the longer term,” the KSA said in a statement.

“This violation is negatively taken into account at a later stage if an online gambling licence is applied for in the context of the Remote Gambling Act . This law, which is not yet in force and is currently being developed further, makes online gambling legal under strict conditions.

“The expectation is that permits can be applied for from 1 January 2021. License applicants are then tested for reliability, among other things.”

The KSA said that while all online gambling in the Netherlands is illegal, the protection of Dutch consumers is the “guiding principle”. It will now pursue those accepting bets from minors as a priority.

Operators also risk being pursued by the KSA if they use the Dutch language, use a website with the suffix .nl, and use payment instruments that are used exclusively or largely by Dutch people.

The KSA currently expects to award up to 90 licences when the market opens. It will start processing licence applications from 1 January 2021, and the market itself will open on 1 July.