Date: 22.12.2023

by Antoni Majewski

Kansspelautoriteit Updates AML Guidelines for Dutch Gambling Sector

The Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Dutch gambling authority, has announced a significant update to its anti-money laundering (AML) guidelines under the Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing (Prevention) Act (Wwft). This marks the first revision of the AML guidelines since the Remote Gambling Act (KOA) came into effect in April 2021. The update reflects the KSA’s commitment to refining regulatory measures based on research, consumer feedback, and inputs from license holders.

The KSA’s approach to updating the AML guidelines involved extensive research and consultation with various gambling stakeholders. This includes input from De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), the Dutch Financial Intelligence Unit, law firms, providers, and industry associations. Such comprehensive consultation ensures that the revised guidelines are well-informed and considerate of various perspectives within the gambling sector.

Clarification on Research Obligations and Client Research

One key insight from the KSA’s consultation was the observation that “research obligations in the context of the prevention of gambling addiction and Wwft client research were sometimes too intertwined”. This has prompted the KSA to address these issues distinctly, aiming for clearer and more effective regulatory measures.

Enhanced Monitoring and Reporting Measures

The updated guidelines stipulate that both online and land-based gambling operators must closely monitor customer transactions. Any unusual or suspicious activity must be reported to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). This measure is crucial in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing within the gambling industry.

The KSA has emphasized that its revised documents offer practical tools for providers to help them comply with the Wwft. Notably, the amendments include a “step-by-step plan for investigating the source of a player’s resources, including examples”. This addition is expected to aid operators in effectively implementing the required checks and balances.

Market Maturation Acknowledged by KSA Chair

René Jansen, Chair of KSA, earlier in December, acknowledged the evolving nature of the Dutch online gambling market, suggesting that it is reaching a “certain degree of maturity”. This observation underscores the significance of the updated AML guidelines as a response to the evolving dynamics of the gambling sector in the Netherlands.

Our Comment on the Article

The Kansspelautoriteit’s update to the AML guidelines is a pivotal development in the Dutch gambling regulatory landscape. It demonstrates a proactive and collaborative approach to regulation, incorporating feedback from various stakeholders to ensure comprehensive and effective guidelines.

The emphasis on distinct measures for addiction prevention and client research underlines the authority’s dedication to addressing multiple aspects of player protection and integrity in the gambling industry. These updates are essential for maintaining a responsible, transparent, and secure gambling environment in the Netherlands, reflecting the market’s ongoing maturation and the need for adaptive regulatory practices.