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Netherlands regulator shuts down real-money gambling apps

The Netherlands’ gambling regulator has successfully removed more than 50 real-money gambling apps from an app store serving Dutch customers, with attention now expected to shift to social gaming apps which feature gambling mechanics.

Gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) had identified 49 gambling apps in May which it considered to be illegally serving the Dutch market, where online gaming is yet to be legalised.

The KSA said that of the two major apps stores in the Netherlands, only one (Apple) allowed real-money gambling apps. At the request of the regulator this app store removed the 49 gambling apps initially identified by the KSA, as well a further six apps which were later discovered.

The regulator highlighted its blocking of sports betting apps at the start of summer as a particular success, which it said prevented illegal sports betting providers from benefitting from the EURO football championship and the Olympics.

“It is estimated that tens of thousands of downloads were prevented in the Netherlands over a period of four months,” the KSA stated.

It added that previously installed apps, as well as newly downloaded apps using a foreign account will continue to work in the Netherlands, with the KSA “monitoring” this usage.

Following the removal of real-money gambling apps, the KSA will now turn its attention to social free-play apps, which it considers to pose a particular risk to minors due to the low threshold for participation.

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