KSA retires Dutch Cooling-Off command

Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Netherlands gambling authority, has confirmed that its ‘Cooling-Off’ command will expire as of Friday 1 April 2022.

 The Cooling-Off command was enforced by KSA as a pre-licensing condition to safeguard the launch of the KOA Regime on October 1 2021, which saw the Netherlands establish its regulated online gambling marketplace.

Spanning a period of two years and nine months, applicants seeking to join the KOA online gambling marketplace were required to abide by the rules that KSA established as a pre-licence requisite.  

The Cooling-Off command was cited as KSA’s headline protection, with applicants having to prove “that they had refrained from servicing/targeting Dutch consumers for a period of two years.”

Prior to the launch of  the licensing window – KSA had established a set of criteria to judge whether a foreign operator had targeted Dutch consumers. It included .nl URL extensions, use of Dutch brand names and native language on marketing inventory/promotions.  

The Dutch Kamer approved the Cooling-Off command as a necessary measure to allow the KOA Regime to ensure a fair- online gambling marketplace in which no incumbents held an ‘unlicensed advantage’.

European tier-1 operators Kindred, Betsson, LeoVegas, Flutter and Entain Plc failed to meet Cooling-Off commands and were denied KOA market launch licences, resulting in costly multi-million Euro adjustments.

Retiring its Cooling-Off command, KSA and Dutch Ministers will review the policy and its effectiveness as a market safeguard in its planned review of KOA year-1 developments.

From April 1, KSA will change KOA Policy Rules for Licensing, as the regulator will individually review new KOA applications.

KSA warned that it “will give more weight to illegal online games of chance and in any case, all illegal online games of chance up to 8 years ago will be taken into account”.

Market observers await to see which foreign operators will be granted KOA licences by KSA during the next licensing window that will be announced by the end of April.

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