Existing gambling operators who have been actively targeting Dutch players will be prohibited from operating in the country until they undergo a cooling down period.

Existing gambling operators who have been operating in the country without a license and “actively” targeting Dutch players will be prohibited from operating in the country until they undergo a “cooling down” period, a Dutch minister clarified.

The country is currently in the process of moving towards a liberalized gambling market that would open its market to international operators. After years of delays on the Remote Gambling Bill, the bill once again came into the limelight last week and appeared to generate sufficient support among the various coalitions of the government.

However, during the debate on Tuesday, senators requested that Sander Dekker, the Minister of Justice who advocated the RGA bill, provide clarification on various aspects of the bill such as the exact definition of an “illegal operator,” measures to control gambling advertising, and measures to block illegal sites.

On Friday, Justice Minister Dekker gave his written response to three specific questions demanded by the senators. Dekker was clear on his stance as far as illegal operators are concerned.

“[I]llegal gambling operators that will continue to actively target the Dutch market and recruiting players from the Dutch market, must be avoided,” wrote Dekker (translated by DLA piper).

Dekker even went on to call these operators “cowboys” and stating that they will not be eligible for a license when the country opens its license window.

“These are operators that e.g. use payment instruments such as iDeal, advertising aimed at the Netherlands or use a Dutch domain name,” Dekker continued.