BUSINESS

Hands off gambling payment providers, high court warns Dutch regulator

TAGs: Kansspelautoriteit, Netherlands

Payment service providers in the Netherlands may continue processing transactions from internationally licensed gambling websites after the Dutch Council of State (DCS) ruled that the state gambling regulator has no power to stop them from offering their services.

Hands off gambling payment providers, high court warns Dutch regulatorLast week, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) regulatory body announced that the high court had granted the appeal of CURO Payments to overturn the decision of an Oost-Brabant court, which prohibited payment processors from extending services to internationally licensed iGaming operators.

A disappointed KSA admitted that the ruling was a “major setback” that would make it difficult for them “to take action against online gambling.” The state regulator pointed out that it could no longer appeal their case against CURO.

“The Gaming Authority tries to enforce the law within the current laws and regulations [the Act on games of chance dating from 1964, when the Internet did not yet exist],” read the KSA statement posted on its website. “Further examination of the ruling must show what the consequences are for the enforcement policy of the Gaming Authority. The public goals of this are consumer protection, counteracting illegality and crime and addiction prevention.”

KSA contended that it’s only doing its responsibilities under the Betting and Gaming Act when it went after a number of online payment service providers. According to the regulator, CURO should be held liable for violation of the Betting and Gaming Act for promoting illegal games of chance by providing services to online gambling firms not holding a Dutch license.

Moving forward, the Dutch regulator called on legislators to swiftly pass online licensing legislation in order to give them broader powers.

KSA admitted that the current law lacked the fangs for the agency to be able to bite back against unauthorized gambling operators and impose fines on illegal gambling providers.

“In the Senate, the Bill on Remote Gambling is currently under discussion. This law makes legal gambling via internet gambling under strict conditions,” the KSA said. “Only when this law has been adopted can the Gaming Authority really make a stand against providers of illegal games of chance.”

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