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Dutch gambling regulator targets affiliate media in drive against illegal online gambling

Malta-based online gambling marketing media group Catena Media was served with a “cease and desist” order Tuesday by Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit, which claims that the company has been promoting online gambling brands to Dutch residents in contravention of local laws.

The order requires Catena to immediately cease its Dutch promotional activity on pain of a Euro 21,000 fine if it fails to do so.

It appears that Catena has complied with the order, because the websites of pellenoverzicht.com, gokoverzicht.com, and netentcasino.nl detailed in the order are now no longer accessible from the Netherlands.

Catena's stable of affiliate marketing companies promote i-gaming services internationally and include major sites like AskGamblers, acquired by Catena for Euro 15 million last year (see previous InfoPowa report).

Under the latest Dutch regulations prohibitions on i-gaming operators regarding the offering or promotion of their products has been expanded to include marketing affiliates. The tough regulations extend to provisions to punish failure by operators to turn away Dutch traffic.

Online gambling legalisation in the Netherlands has been dragging on for years, slowly labouring through a political quagmire that has repeatedly delayed progress. Currently the legalisation measure is languishing in the national Senate, having been approved last year by the Lower House.

Dutch officials recently opined that mid-2018 is the earliest date that the industry can expect to see implementation….but in the past such optimistic dates have come and gone without realisation.

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