One of the highest administrative courts in The Netherlands has reportedly overturned a lower court ruling by decreeing that it is not against the law for local electronic payment service providers to conduct business with unlicensed online gambling websites.
According to a report from Intergame, last week’s verdict from The Council of State followed Dutch firm Curo Payments BV appealing a November of 2016 ruling from an Oost-Brabant court that had given the nation’s Kansspelautoriteit gaming regulator the right to punish any payment service providers that were dealing with unlicensed online gambling operators.
Intergame reported that the December 27 decision, which cannot be appealed, will be seen as a significant impediment for the Kansspelautoriteit and its ongoing efforts to enforce legislation ratified in 1964 that prohibits the playing of online games of chance.
“The ruling of the highest administrative judge is a major setback for the Kansspelautoriteit,” read a statement from the regulator. “With the ruling of The Council of State, it is even more difficult for the Kansspelautoriteit to take action against online gambling. Further examination of the ruling will show what the consequences are for the enforcement policy of the Kansspelautoriteit. The public goals of this are consumer protection, counteracting illegality and crime and addiction prevention.”
Despite being passed by The Netherlands’ House of Representatives in the summer of 2016, new legislation that would allow the Kansspelautoriteit to better control the local online gambling market via the issuance of licenses is currently languishing in the Senate. This Remote Gambling Bill has moreover been designed to give the regulator additional enforcement and punishment powers but is now not likely to come into force before next year.
“Only when this law has been adopted can the Kansspelautoriteit really make a stand against providers of illegal games of chance,” read the statement from the regulator.