Netherlands clarifies two-year ‘cooling off’ period

Netherlands dutch cooling off period operator
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The Dutch regulator has confirmed its policy of a two year “cooling off period” for firms found operating in the hitherto black market – and clarified who falls on either side of the rule.


The Dutch senate already approved a measure in February stating that online operators who “actively targeted” the Dutch market before it was legal would be subject to a two-year ban before being able to apply for a licence.

The Netherlands Gambling Authority has confirmed the plans, with the publication of provision policies that detail the definitions; and that violations will only be assessed up to 24-month before the time of application.

Operators deemed to have “actively targeted” include any that used a website with the suffix .nl; those that offered services in Dutch or used Dutch-specific payment methods; companies that advertised in Dutch or; those that used Dutch iconography that would appeal specifically to Dutch players (it gave the example of “clog bingo”).

“The scheme is based on the idea that on the one hand providers who have illegally offered games of chance cannot in principle be regarded as reliable,” said the regulator, “but on the other hand sufficient supply is necessary for effective channeling.”

Unlike what many had feared, the KSA said it was being deliberately “lenient towards providers who have violated the law under certain circumstances in the past.”

“The aim of this is to guide consumers interested in gambling to a safe and controlled range of online gambling,” it added. “If this leniency is not applied, there is a risk that such a market will not arise or that the market is too weak to realize substantial channelization.”

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