The Dutch gambling regulator de Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has warned two lottery operators that they could face fines of up to one million euros if they continue to offer games that do not fall under their licenses.
The two lottery operators said they would appeal the decision but would temporarily stop offering the games from June 8.
The regulator said operators would face a fine of 250,000 euros per week, up to a maximum of 1 million euros, if they offered the games again.
The KSA assumes that lotteries offer games of chance
According to the KSA, the lottery license does not apply to titles such as “Deal or no Deal”, offered by Postcode Loterij, and “FriendsLottery Millionaires”, which are online gambling games.
“Laws and regulations make a clear distinction between lotteries and riskier games of chance, including online gambling,” the KSA said in a statement. “Both games of chance require a different license.
“Lotteries may not be offered online; The sale of participation tickets is only permitted via the Internet. The online offering of games that are related to a lottery is prohibited. The law does not allow this. The KSA remains committed to ensuring that lottery and online gambling remain separate.”
In response, Postcode Loterij and VriendenLoterij stated that they would appeal the decision.
In a joint statement, they added: “The KSA believes that these free lottery games do not fit under the lottery license. However, the games are a form of entertainment and fit within the safe framework of a non-profit lottery with only one goal: to raise money for good causes.
“For 30 years, participants have always had the opportunity to take part in further games, be it by post, on the Internet, in special apps or live.
“Nothing is gained by playing any of the games yourself. In the games, similar to a traditional lottery, participants only receive a prize after a drawing has taken place. This means the games meet the requirements of the lottery license.”
Last week, a report published by Marnix van Rij, the Dutch finance minister, said the government was “exploring” new options for the Nederlandse Loterij (NLO), including the possibility of privatizing the state-owned company.