A court in The Hague has dismissed online gaming operator Betsson’s claim that the Dutch gambling authorities (Kansspelautoriteit) recent clampdown on online gaming operators violated EU regulations, ruling that it was inadmissible in a court of law.
The company purchased the Dutch facing Oranje Casino and Kroon Casino in 2014 for a combined €100m, with both companies fully compliant and licensed to operate under the Kansspelautoriteit’s previously loose regulatory regime.
However in May the Kansspelautoriteit implemented a new set of rules specifically designed to restrict international operators from targeting Dutch players. Under the new rules online gaming operators and their affiliates are not allowed to target local players by using typically Dutch symbols, such as tulips and windmills.
In addition, .nl affiliate websites are prohibited from directing Dutch players to .com iGaming websites, with operators who fail to block traffic from the Netherlands being in breach of regulations and subject to financial penalties.
These regulations effectively prohibited both casinos from operating in the Dutch gambling market. In light of this Betsson launched a legal challenge to these rules, with a preliminary injunction being filed with the court in August, culminating in yesterday’s ruling.
A full online gambling bill is currently working its way through the upper chamber of the Dutch government but has made very little progress since its initial approval last year.