March 20, 2020

Dutch gambling regulator reprimands online casinos’ “corona-free” advertisement

Recently, Kansspelautoriteit, the gambling authority in the Netherlands, has reprimanded online casinos that try to attract the Dutch with “corona-free” advertisement and promised to punish them.

Context

In the Netherlands, the global pandemic of coronavirus has resulted in more than 1,700 people contracting the disease and 43 people dying.

In order to prevent Covid-19 from rapidly spreading further, the Dutch government implemented strict policies, including the closure of all its physical casinos.

Online casinos, on the other hand, are not legal in the Netherlands so far. This situation will change after the Remote Gambling Act comes into force. This Act will regulate the way Kansspelautoriteit grants online casinos the right to operate in the Netherlands.

However, this will only happen on 1 January 2021. And after the Remote Gambling Act is implemented, 6 more months will pass until the first online casinos are allowed to operate in the country.

As for the closure of land-based casinos in the Netherlands, so far it is expected to last till 6 April. But of course it can be extended, depending on how fast coronavirus continues to spread.

Not surprisingly, many online casinos decided to take advantage of this situation. And quite a few of them used immoral marketing techniques too.

“Completely objectionable”

Kansspelautoriteit noted the surge of online casinos trying to attract Dutch gamblers without legal permission and shamelessly using coronavirus as a marketing strategy.

René Jansen, the Chairman of the Dutch gambling authority, said, “We see that illegal online providers are trying to take advantage of the current situation. That is unacceptable. We have even seen consumers lured into what is known as a corona-free offering. Completely objectionable.”

The consequences for online casinos that use such tactics in the Netherlands will not end with criticism alone. The Dutch gambling regulator promises, after the Remote Gambling Act is implemented, Kansspelautoriteit will not give licenses to online casinos noticed in such activity.

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