Despite the Netherlands making the progressive steps of legislating online gambling, Dutch gambling authority Kansspelautoriteit told Dutch News that Facebook has agreed to stop advertising gambling sites the were targeting Dutch users.
In a statement, Kansspelautoriteit said that the social media site is taking the proper steps to conform to current Dutch legislation that does not allow media sites to encourage illegal gambling, despite Dutch concerns that the ban has been widely ignored. “Facebook is a low threshold social network with easy access to youngsters,’ spokesman spokesman Paul Tang said. “By taking this step, the organization is showing it takes its social responsibilities seriously.”
If Facebook didn’t comply with the rules of the country’s gambling authority, the social media site would’ve been subject to significant fines. Current Dutch legislation has the state-owned Holland Casino as the only gambling authority in the country, although that could appear to change in 2015 if a draft legislating online gambling is passed.
Should that happen, the state monopoly on gambling would end in favor of an online gambling market competition. Licenses would then be given out for applicants who want to offer online poker, casino games and sports betting, although these applications are subject to “very strict conditions”, according to junior justice minister Fred Teeven.
The way developments are shaping the Dutch gambling market, it does look like Facebook’s move to abide by Kansspelautoriteit’s request is temporary. At least until the draft legislation opening up the Dutch gambling market is passed. The legislation is currently under consultation for two months, before it is formally sent to parliament.