Netherlands – geo-blocking requirement for non-licensed gambling operators

On Monday, the Dutch Minister for Justice and Security called for a geo-blocking obligation in relation to unlicensed operators that do not actively target the Dutch market, but that do serve Netherlands based players.

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The geo-blocking obligation will now become a firm part of the regulator’s enforcement criteria, in addition to the previously defined criteria. The intended start date for this obligation is 1 October 2021 (the opening of the market), noting that there will likely be a brief transitional period.

So, unlicensed operators will need to take action accordingly, in order to avoid enforcement, and potentially impact a license application. The geo-blocking obligation also applies during the so-called cooling-off period.

It is expected that the regulator KSA will write to the relevant operators informing them formally of the new policy.

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