Netherland Gambling Authority – KSA

The Kansspelautoriteit- KSA (Netherlands Gambling Authority) was established in 2012 as an independent regulator and supervisor of online and offline gambling within the Netherlands.

It’s important for any online casino player to understand how gambling licences affect their casino experience, and in this guide, we are going to examine what the Netherlands gambling regulation could mean for you.

Features of the Netherlands Gambling Licence

The KSA casino licence is a modernised version of the already existing Betting and Gaming Act covering all offline gambling in the Netherlands. There are 8 main features of this license:

  1. Safety of players: Player protection is emphasised, particularly for vulnerable groups and minors. Measures include self-exclusion programs, obligatory deposit limits, and checks to prevent underage gambling.
  2. Rigorous compliance: Licensees must adhere to strict regulatory requirements to ensure transparency, player protection, and fair play.
  3. Regular audits: Licensees will need to undergo inspections and regular audits to ensure that they are compliant, up to regulatory requirements, and operating with integrity.
  4. Transparency: To help players make informed decisions, licensed operators must be transparent about their terms of use, games offered, and associated risks with gambling.
  5. Protecting player data: All licensed operators must always ensure security and privacy. They need to protect their players’ personal and financial data according to GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
  6. Tax compliance: Licensed operators must follow tax regulations such as tax payments to the Dutch authorities.
  7. Research and prevention subsidies: Operators must contribute to programs that focus on the prevention of gambling-related harm and fund gambling addiction research.
  8. Settling disputes: To ensure that any disputes are tackled fairly and quickly, the KSA has systems in place to help resolve any complaints between licensees and players.

The Key Responsibilities of the KSA

The Netherlands Gambling Authority focuses on 3 main objectives:

  • Preventing gambling from being linked to any illegal activities.
  • Ensuring that consumers are protected and well-informed
  • The prevention of gambling addiction

How Do You Know if an Online Casino Has a Netherlands Gambling Authority Licence?

At the time of writing this article, there are currently no online casinos with Dutch Licences, though this is set to change in 2021 as the Remote Gambling Act comes into force; this has currently been submitted for approval with two strong visions: that all games will be subject to strict testing and there must be maximum measures in place to prevent and protect players with gambling addiction.

It’s expected that all online casinos with Dutch Licenses will need to display the logo of the KSA on-site, as well as players being able to check a licence validity on the Authority’s own website.

What Are The Benefits of a KSA Licence Compared to Others?

Players can expect that the new online Netherlands gambling regulation will be one of the strictest and most revered gambling licences in the world.

The KSA already has profound knowledge and experience of regulating Dutch offline gambling. This knowledge will be passed onto the Gambling Act to ensure that players feel assured that they have one of the most powerful and independent regulators looking out for them at all times.

The KSA has already set out a framework of requirements for any remote casino hoping to obtain the prestigious Dutch licence, and applicants will face an in-depth screening and assessment process.

What Are the Risks Involved in Playing at an Online Casino Which Does Not Have a Netherlands Licence?

Dutch players partaking in online gambling at remote casinos has been a grey area in the past, with some remote operators deploying various methods to still offer an online gambling service despite this currently being illegal. It’s hoped that when the new online Netherlands gambling regulation comes into force in 2021, this will provide a safer environment for Dutch players and direct legislation for operators to adhere to.

It isn’t advisable in the meantime for Dutch players to use remote online casinos, and doing so could expose you to a number of issues:

  • Should a dispute arise, there would not be a Dutch governing body to assist for arbitration purposes.
  • A player’s security could be compromised.
  • A player’s funds could be used to finance crime.

Recent Legislative Changes

The new Remote Gambling Act took effect on the 1st of April 2021, and the Dutch market became officially open on the 1st of October 2021. This legislation permits operators to obtain a license from the KSA to provide online gambling offerings in the Netherlands. The regulation’s main aim is to fight fraud or other criminal activities, protect players’ rights, and prevent gambling addiction.

How Can the KSA Help Me if I Have a Complaint?

There are 6 ways the KSA helps you resolve any complaints related to gambling:

  1. They will guide you on the complaint process, sharing all the information you need to file an official complaint against any licensee, including any essential steps and documents needed.
  2. You can file a complaint directly with KSA if it is related to any gambling law violations, such as unfair practices or lack of game fairness.
  3. They will investigate all complaints received to determine any regulation breaches by reviewing the gambling provider’s operations and their compliance with the licensing conditions.
  4. They will take the necessary enforcement actions if any regulatory compliance is violated, with consequences ranging from orders to change their operations, fines, or, worst-case scenarios, having the license revoked.
  5. Suppose a complaint is outside of the KSA’s jurisdiction, like severe violations of data protection or illegal activities. In that case, they will refer you to the appropriate authorities, such as agencies specialising in data protection or law enforcement/ police.
  6. Once the investigation is complete, you will be provided with feedback on the result of the complaint and if any further actions need to be taken. In this way, you are kept updated with the final decision on the issue.

KSA Licence FAQs

Below, we have prepared a list of the most frequently asked questions about the Kansspelautoriteit licensing authority.

How will I find the best online casinos which hold the KSA licence?

You can rely on our team of trusted experts to carefully review the new casinos which will obtain the KSA licence, providing you with enough information to make an informed choice.

Can online casinos in Europe advertise in the Netherlands?

Current Netherlands gambling regulation states that it is illegal for any remote casino to advertise to the Dutch market, and in doing so may prevent said casinos from obtaining a KSA licence at a later stage.

Will software developers need to obtain a KSA license?

It will be relevant for software developers who provide online games in the Netherlands to hold an appropriate KSA licence, and developers will be subject to the same strict vetting process that operators will need to undergo.

Can Dutch players use gambling apps?

Until 2016 it was possible for players in the Netherlands to gamble using Apps online, the KSA then carried out an investigation which resulted in over 60 of these Apps being removed from operation.

Can a Dutch player use a VPN and gamble online?

This is highly risky and online casinos will deploy sufficient technology to ascertain when players’ are using a VPN to simulate that they are in a country where online gambling is legal. Doing this could result in having your account closed or your winnings forfeited.

Will every online casino that applies for a Dutch licence be granted one?

No, and in fact, the KSA has issued a statement to say that it will look to issue around 90 licences only to remote casinos.

Is gambling illegal in the Netherlands?

Both online and land-based gambling are legal in the Netherlands. As of April 1st, 2021, the Remote Gambling Act came into effect allowing operators to offer online services and from October 1st 2021, the market was officially opened.