Dutch government rejects loophole in match-fixing law

Dutch Justice and Security Minister Sander Dekker has launched an attempt to refute rumors that the country's Remote Games Act contains a loophole that could inadvertently allow match-fixing in the Netherlands.

Responding to written parliamentary questions from MPs, Dekker dismissed press reports that suspicious betting schemes could only be reported to the Dutch Financial Intelligence Unit under the country's Money Laundering Act (Wwft).

The news claimed that information about suspicious bets would not be shared with any other organisations, including the relevant sports federations, without the approval of the Dutch Public Prosecutor's Office.

MPs say this could increase the likelihood of match-fixing issues remaining unresolved before questioning a potential loophole and its implications for sports federations and the fair sports betting industry.

Dekker said that the Dutch government was aware of the situation and that the clause of the law restricting access to the FIU only would only be activated in certain situations, and that sports federations would still be informed of any potential violations.

“With remote gambling laws and regulations in place, sports betting providers are required to report unusual event-level betting patterns (regardless of suspicious AML transactions) and promptly report to SBIU and sports organizations involved,” Dekker wrote.

“Moreover, with the entry into force of the Remote Gaming Act, online gambling providers are required to notify in accordance with Wwft.

“These reports of unusual deals may also include reports of match-fixing. In general, I conclude that the informational position of the sport has not worsened,” added Dekker.

The minister confirmed that consultations with the country's sports structures have been held since 2020.

The government has proposed a new accelerated reporting system that will allow the FIU to transmit data to sports federations in the shortest possible time.

In this new system, the FIU will flag any reports of possible match-fixing so that they can be reported to the relevant sports governing body. Consultations on this new system will be launched by the Dutch government over the next few months.