regulator the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) is stepping up its investigation
into gambling apps illegally targeting customers in the country, as well as
preparing an investigation into the potential dangers posed to minors
by social casino apps.
An initial assessment
carried out by the KSA at the end of April found that 49 illegal
real-money gaming apps can be downloaded in the Netherlands, with the authority
now planning to monitor these products under the new investigation.
With no specific
iGaming legislation yet in effect in the Netherlands, all forms of online
gambling are currently considered illegal. Gaming companies are
therefore required to remove all real-money apps from app stores – if the
app store has not done so already – and remove links and references to these
products from their websites, the regulator said.
The KSA’s new
investigation will monitor whether operators are complying with this
requirement, with the possibility of enforcement action against operators
who fail to comply.
Apps, and by extension
mobile gaming, have become a key concern for the Dutch regulator, which notes
that the use of apps for gambling is “increasing substantially” compared to
gaming via PCs and laptops.
“The KSA advises
consumers not to play via illegal gambling apps and to withdraw their funds
from these operators,” the regulator said. “The KSA cannot help consumers once
this action results in their money no longer being accessible via the apps.”
While the new
investigation will initially focus on real-money gambling apps, the KSA plans
to expand its scope to also assess the potential dangers of social casino apps.
to Australian research which suggests that exposing children to “games
which simulate gambling” may result in problem gambling habits later in life.
“Not only are these
types of games freely available to minors, but they can also be downloaded for
“The combination of
this low threshold for accessibility and the larger risk for minors has given
cause for the KSA to investigate these gambling apps in depth in the coming