The Kansspelautoriteit, the Netherlands’ gambling regulator, has once again warned incompliant operators. This time the violators are the National Postcode Lottery (Nationale Postcode Loterij) and the Friends Lottery (Vriendenloterij), which were found guilty of offering games they didn’t have licenses for.
As announced by the KSA, both parties offered products that are not permitted under their existing licenses. As a result, the regulator asked the companies to take down the problematic offerings, warning the operators that they risk penalties if they fail to comply.
According to the KSA, the penalty the companies might receive is $268,000 per week, up to a maximum of $1,073,175.
The Companies Offered Online Gambling The Kansspelautoriteit noted that the National Postcode Lottery’s website offers a selection of games that could be considered to constitute online gambling. This includes a variety of titles such as Deal or No Deal, Suitcase Hunt, ONE against 50 and Move That Truck.
According to the regulator, such games are not covered by the lottery license that the National Postcode Lottery holds, meaning that its offerings breach local regulations.
The Friends Lottery, on the other hand, offered several titles, such as Club-man and Bingo crush games, that are also considered online games of chance. Like the National Postcode Lottery, the Friends Lottery lacks the appropriate license to legally offer such titles.
The Kansspelautoriteit warned the operators that it will not hesitate to impose the aforementioned fine, should they fail to remove the illegal offerings from their websites.
The Netherlands Wants to Separate Lotteries from Gambling The Dutch regulator noted that it is very important to have a clear distinction between low-risk lottery titles and high-risk games of chance, such as online gambling. Because of that, the country has different licenses for the two verticals, as well as certain rules that are designed to reinforce the difference between lottery and online gaming.
For example, online lotteries are strictly forbidden in the Netherlands- instead, gambling companies can only sell participation tickets online.
However, the games that the National Postcode Lottery and the Friends Lottery offered are clear examples of online gaming that is unlawfully linked to lottery companies. The Kansspelautoriteit once again noted that this is prohibited and concluded that it will make sure that the distinction between the two verticals remains clear in order to protect customers from harm.
The Lottery Companies’ Response The National Postcode Lottery and the Friends Lottery commented on the warning, announcing their decision to appeal the Kansspelautoriteit’s ruling. They claimed that the games they offer are safe and designed to help raise funds for good causes, just as per their licenses.
The two companies also noted that the extra games they offer do not offer instant rewards to the players. Instead, like in a traditional lottery, a draw takes place and players can only receive prizes after that. Because of this, the National Postcode Lottery and the Friends Lottery believe their products are completely legal.