KSA fines Toto Online for breach of gambling ad rules

Toto Online has been fined €400,000.
Toto Online has been fined €400,000.

Kansspelautoriteit found Toto Online had targeted under 23s, in breach of the Netherlands rules on advertising.

The Netherlands.- The Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has fined Toto Online €400,000 for sending gambling advertising to young adults. The Netherlands forbids operators from advertising to anyone under the age of 23, but the KSA found that Toto Online had been sending emails to its entire customer base.

The breaches of the Netherlands’ rules on advertising occurred from the launch of the country’s regulated online gambling market at the start of October last year until February 1 this year. Toto Online sent out emails containing information on its gambling offering, including about its bonus offers.

Dutch licensed operators must not send advertising material to under 23s even if they are already registered as customers. Toto Online sent messages to all of its customers without filtering for age.

KSA chairman René Jansen said: “The law says that vulnerable groups, including young adults, must be given extra protection. The brains of young people are still developing. As a result, they are extra vulnerable to developing gambling addiction. 

“Gaming providers must fully respect the rules intended to protect vulnerable groups. That did not happen here and that is why there is a fine.”

KSA warns operators for taking bets on yellow cards

Kansspelautoriteit has warned two operators for taking bets on yellow cards. Dutch gambling legislation forbids this on the grounds that it makes games more vulnerable to match-fixing.

The KSA said the offences took place before the start of the World Cup and didn’t name the operators involved. It says it has warned another operator for breaching its ban on the use of role models to promote gambling by featuring several prominent Dutch people in an ad for an event that also featured the operator’s logo throughout.

Regulations prohibit the use of a logo in the same communication as the image, voice or name of a role model. The KSA said the ad has since been withdrawn. Another operator was warned for offering an illegal game with a top prize of €2.5m not covered by its licence. The KSA said the operator had since changed the offer.

Meanwhile, the Dutch Minister for Legal Protection Franc Weerwind has denied that there are major issues with payment providers delaying customer withdrawals from igaming operators.

Responding to parliamentary questions from Michael van Nispen of the Socialist Party and Mirjam Bikker of the Christian Union, Weerwind said that some withdrawal requests were being processed faster than others but that the KSA has not reported any incidents involving operators keeping hold of player’s funds for longer than necessary.

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