Wednesday, September 5, 2018

PokerStars Owner Removes iDEAL for Dutch Players, Fears Regulatory Action

Casino News Daily
PokerStars Owner Removes iDEAL for Dutch Players, Fears Regulatory Action

Another major online gambling operator might have landed in hot water in the Netherlands, following the late-August announcement that the local gambling regulator, Kansspelautoriteit, has slapped a €300,000 fine on a Betsson subsidiary for targeting Dutch players.

News emerged earlier today that The Stars Group, owner of online poker room PokerStars, informed late last month its Dutch customers that locally popular payment provider iDEAL would no longer be available to use. In a message sent to local players and obtained by gaming news outlet EGR, the online gambling giant has explained that the use of iDEAL has become “a key trigger” for the launch of an investigation by Kansspelautoriteit. The company’s message further reads that the Dutch gambling regulator has made it clear that any online gambling operators previously sanctioned by it would not be granted a license, once the local market is regulated. As a result, The Stars Group “was left with no choice” but to remove iDEAL.

The company recommended other payment methods working on the same principle to its customers from the Netherlands, with SOFORT and Trustly being two such payment methods. Generally speaking, they all provide their customers with the opportunity to make Internet purchases/online casino deposits by transferring funds directly from their bank accounts.

The Stars Group’s latest move raises certain questions as to whether the company has been scolded by Kansspelautoriteit and over the exact nature of the probe that was said to have been triggered by the availability of iDEAL.

Dutch Parliament Reconvenes after Summer Recess

The latest rounds of news from the Netherlands raise one more more important question – whether actions will be taken regarding the regulation of the country’s online gambling market. The so-called Remote Gambling Bill, allowing for interested international operators to apply for a license from the local regulator and operate in a regulated environment, was approved in the Dutch lower house more than two years ago, but has seen little progress since then.

The Dutch Parliament held on Tuesday its first public session after the summer recess. Lawmakers have a number of important matters on the table, with the country’s 2019 budget being the most pressing one.

The Remote Gambling Bill needs to be approved in the Senate. According to previous reports, lawmakers were expected to attempt to pass the bill and enforce it by early 2019. However, given the fact that there still seems to be a certain level of disagreement between politicians on key aspects of the gambling market re-regulation process, that goal might not be reached.

There was a certain development in the process earlier this year, with MPs finally reaching an accord on a particular provision in the Remote Gambling Bill. It became known that the country’s new gambling regulations, when eventually implemented, would not require operators to establish physical presence in the country in order to be able to operate there as long as they are headquartered within the EU/EEA.

Allowing operators previously sanctioned by Kansspelautoriteit to enter the Dutch market when it finally gets reorganized has been another important point in the gambling re-regulation debate. In July, Dutch Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker urged the government to introduce a regulatory framework that would allow such companies to apply for a license. However, Kansspelautoriteit has remained firm on its stance that it would not issue licenses to companies that were previously fined or warned against targeting Dutch customers.

The post PokerStars Owner Removes iDEAL for Dutch Players, Fears Regulatory Action appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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