SBC News Nederlandse Loterij faces fair play lawsuit against TOTO.nl

Nederlandse Loterij faces fair play lawsuit against TOTO.nl

Benelux gambling group Becta BV has ‘initiated legal proceedings’ against Nederlandse Loterij subsidiary TOTO.nl for ‘abusing monopoly rights’ to grow its online business.  

The complaint was summoned to the Netherlands Consumer and Markets Authority (ACM), who have been urged to review TOTO proceedings since the launch of the KOA marketplace on 1 October 2021.

The operating company of Dutch licensed brand Circus.nl, Becta has long claimed that Nederlandse Loterij undermined the rules of the KOA marketplace by providing unfair advantages to promote TOTO to Dutch audiences.

TOTO is accused of breaching the KOA regime requirements prior to market launch in which its brand was promoted to Nederlandse Loterij customers – deemed an infringement on Dutch online gambling’s ‘fair play rules’.

Becta cites that prior to market launch, KOA licensed incumbents such as Circus.nl had to ensure a period of no advertising activity and that databases were clean with regards to any Dutch player information.

Further abuses of KOA rules saw TOTO and state-owned counterpart Holland Casino acquire premium advertising slots on Dutch media to launch ‘aggressive advertising campaigns’ – criticised by Dutch ministers in their year-1 review of the market.

Speaking to Dutch igaming news source CasinoNieuws.nl, Becta CEO Martijn Maertens stated that TOTO and Holland Casino’s undermining of rules had deep negative consequences of KOA’s outcomes with regards to advertising.

“The monopolists TOTO and Holland Casino Online have used their name, money, website and database to build a dominant position in this new market. Whether this is a violation of European regulations as a state participation and legally established monopolist is currently being investigated by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets ,” Maertens stated.

“This, in combination with the current and upcoming restrictions, gives us the feeling that there is no level playing field with regard to these parties, which was a starting point of the regulation.”

Aware of complaints made against TOTO, Nederlandse Loterij noted that it had curtailed the advertising activity promoting its online subsidiary during 2022 and informed Dutch authorities of its new approach.

The board of Nederlandse Loterij has shared its view on advertising reforms required to safeguard and improve Dutch online gambling and, therefore, ‘looks forward to ACM’s decision with confidence’.

SBC News Nederlandse Loterij faces fair play lawsuit against TOTO.nl

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