Dutch Gambling Authority Tells Apple to Pull Gambling Apps

Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Dutch gambling authority, has ordered Apple to remove all real-money gambling apps from its Netherlands-facing apps store.
The US-based technology giant is complying with the order and has pulled more than 50 apps in an effort to appease KSA. Apple’s acquiescence is the culmination of an anti-gambling app effort by KSA that began back in May.
Though KSA’s actions may seem a bit harsh to outsiders, it’s worth noting that online gambling is not actually legal in the Netherlands. That means every real-money gambling that was downloaded in the country represents criminal activity.
Though the Dutch online gambling market isn’t exactly huge (Holland’s population is only 16 million) the anti-app purge will certainly have an impact on gambling operators.
That said, the operators impacted aren’t exactly mom-and-pop shops. In fact, some of the biggest names in the online gambling industry were impacted by the ban including Unibet and Bwin.
Last May, the KSA sent out letters warning gambling operators that they needed to pull their apps or face the consequences.
In an effort to show that they were really serious, the KSA recently beefed up the penalties for unauthorized online gambling in the country. According to a report on CalvinAyre.com, the new fines have been raised from €50,000 to €100,000.
The report goes on to say that at least six operators have already been hit with penalties for violating the Dutch ban.
Operators with an eye on the Netherlands might, however, get a chance in the very near future. Dutch lawmakers are currently considering several bills that would allow for regulated online gambling in the EU’s tenth most-populated country.