Kansspelautoriteit Wins Gambling Advertising Case

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The Council of State, the highest administrative court in the Netherlands, has ruled in favour of Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) in a case concerning the use of text-based promotions for online games of chance.

KSA had argued that using promotional articles to publicise online games, which are currently prohibited in the country, was a form of advertising and as such should not be permitted.

The Council of State agreed with the regulator’s assessment, ruling that promotional text falls under the same category of advertising and is not allowed under current laws. The decision supports an earlier ruling made by the District Court of The Hague in February 2019.

The original case related to incremental penalty payments that the KSA had issued to Content Publishing Limited, a subsidiary of Betsson, in 2017, after the regulator said the operator had published promotional articles for online gambling on various websites.

Content Publishing had argued in the District Court of The Hague that the KSA’s definition of promotion in the Gambling Act was too broad and that its articles constituted editorial information, rather than advertisements.

However, the Court disagreed, saying in its ruling “the primary objective (…) was to forward potential players to providers of online casino games” and that the KSA rightly regarded this as promoting illegal gambling. The Council of State ruling supported this initial decision.

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