The Netherlands on code endorsement and licencing procedures

Cvetanka Cvetanovska | Published 26 Jun 2020, 3:22 p.m.

Yesterday, the Dutch Online Gambling Association Speel Verantwoord officially became the first national group to adopt and endorse the new data protection code of conduct. This code was launched earlier this month by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA).

An important addition to Dutch GDPR requirements

The new code establishes rules and recommendations in order to define data protection in the online gambling market, outlining long-term standards aimed at reinforcing the sector’s compliance with GDPR.

Speel Verantwoord, a trade organisation advocate for safe gambling is promoting this code to its members and now, publicly encourages other industry players to sign up and support it. The head of Speel Verantwoord, Peter-Paul De Goeij agreed that data protection is of ever-increasing importance, especially in the online gambling industry. He further adds that this code will serve as a good addition to local Dutch GDPR requirements and it will increase the trust players have in their operator of choice. It is in the interest of both operators and customers to ensure that data is kept safe and uncompromised.

This new code of conduct is part of the EGBA’s efforts to improve national online gambling standards. This will be further accomplished through supporting the application of transparency, customer rights, protection against breaches in personal data and detecting frauds.

EGBA’s secretary Maarten Haijer greeted on the Dutch initiative, adding that the association is pleased to be one of Europe’s first digital sectors to introduce self-regulatory code for data protection. He adds that this code will ensure that customers understand how their personal data is being used and provides guidance on how companies should use their data when interacting with customers.

Dutch licencing procedures pointed as unfair

A recent hearing in the Netherlands has defined that the country’s gambling licensing procedures must comply with EU law after a complaint from Kindred Group.

The Dutch council of state, the highest administrative court in the Netherlands, was loud and clear on the fact that the country’s existing procedures for allocating gambling licences must be verified with EU rules. The decision overturns a ruling by the administrative court of the Hague in April 2019. The court supported the Dutch Gambling Authority’s (KSA) view that without a licence application, gambling companies would have no interest in the process of individual legal licensing cases.

However, Trannel which is a legal Kindred Group cooperative pointed out that the procedure for allocating online licence unfairly excluded and disadvantaged those with a licence, as KSA requirements were impossible to meet. Trannel withdrew its application for a tote betting licence after declaring the procedure was discriminatory against companies that no longer possess a licence.

The minister for justice and security Sander Dekker agrees that they are late with the launch of the country’s regulated online market and outlined procedures due to the current global circumstances. The launch has been postponed for July 2021, and the chances to be pushed back even more are also an option to consider.  

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