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The Netherlands Gaming Authority (KSA) has joined forces with global web security company Cloudflare in a move to clamp down on unlicensed online operators.

The strategic alliance marks a significant step in the regulator’s ongoing efforts to root out and penalise offshore gambling entities that target consumers in the Netherlands.

Earlier this year, Cloudflare found itself under scrutiny from the KSA, which issued two binding instructions against the company on suspicions of aiding illegal gambling activity.

These directives were based on investigations into the operations of nederlandscasinos.net and onlinecasinosspelen.com, two affiliate sites implicated in promoting unlicensed gambling operators.

With the KSA unable to identify the owners behind the affiliate brands, Cloudflare was initially tasked with halting its service provision to the sites.

As discussions progressed, it became clear that Cloudflare’s role in the chain did not directly enable the infringement, but rather positioned it as a potential source of valuable information for the KSA’s regulatory enforcement activities.

Recognising this distinction, the KSA retracted its initial directives against Cloudflare, opting instead for a collaborative agreement with the US web security specialist.

Under this new arrangement, Cloudflare will assist the KSA by sharing critical data about the hosting entities linked to so-called illegal gambling websites.

The KSA hopes this intelligence will significantly bolster its investigative capabilities by enhancing its ability to identify and shut down unauthorised operations.

Unlicensed gambling sites and their affiliate partners often deploy sophisticated tactics to remain under the radar, complicating enforcement efforts by regulators.

In the Netherlands, operating or promoting unlicensed gambling activities contravenes the country’s Gambling Act.

Strategies to combat this include imposing barriers with both payment and internet service providers to disrupt the operational capabilities of offshore gambling sites.

The KSA has significantly ramped up enforcement efforts against unlicensed operators this year, placing a record €19.7m fine on Gammix Limited in February.

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