Dutch Gaming Authority Chief Marja Appelman Steps Down
July 9, 2018
The Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the gaming authority of the Netherlands, announced on Friday that Marja Appelman is stepping down as Chief Executive after being appointed as Executive Director of the Housing Market Directorate at the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations.
Appelman said that her “job is done” and that the KSA is “operating in a way that makes it ready to expand its tasks” after overseeing gambling regulations in the Netherlands for almost five years.
She later added that the government is finally shining light to push the long-overdue Remote Gambling Act. The bill is in its final stage and is in preparation to liberalize the online market within the country.
With Appelman taking on a new role, Vice-Chair Claire Pinson of Autorité de régulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL) will assume the position until a new chief executive is appointed by the KSA. Appelman’s term as a board member would conclude on October 1 together with KSA board of director chairman Jan Suyver and Henk Kesler.
Suyver thanked Appelman for her service saying:
“Under her management, the supervision of the gambling market has become more proactive, more risk-based, and more focused on international cooperation.”
He went on by saying Appelman’s departure is “a sensitive loss” and that she would be truly missed.
Invitation to Innovation
In Appelman’s keynote speech at 7th Gaming in Holland Conference held this year, she stressed the need for innovation, particularly among land-based sectors. This is to hinder players from receiving unlicensed offerings.
The Gaming Authority CEO said:
“I invite the entrepreneurs among you to innovate. Look for opportunities within existing rules and regulations to innovate and get results. The Netherlands Gaming Authority finds it important that licensees are able to offer attractive gambling possibilities, right now,”
KSA Under Appelman
As head of Kansspelautoriteit since 2013, Appelman has had a tenure that stood on the basis of the growth and professionalization of the gambling body. Under Appelman, the KSA aimed for consumer protection, prevention of gambling addiction, and elimination of illegality and crime.
The gaming authority has been sufficiently active in its fight against violators by implementing stricter enforcement policies to unauthorized online gambling operators in the country.
In November 2015, the KSA slapped a half-a-million-euro fine to Redslots.com. This was after the operators got caught illegally promoting the online casino via numerous Dutch-language sites and attracting new bettors with a signup bonus.
Appelman also took part in lobbying efforts for the re-establishment of the Dutch gambling market. She even stood firm against the controversial “loot box” that violated Dutch gambling rules. These loot boxes contained items that could be traded for money offline and could ultimately result in gambling addiction.
Though sad about Appelman’s departure, KSA carries on to absorb her duties until a permanent replacement for the post is named.