The Dutch Games of Chance Authority (“KSA”) has published its decision to impose a EUR 180,000 fine on a gambling operator, its software supplier and the software supplier’s directors for offering online gambling targeted to the Netherlands. This was done through 14 websites using Dutch language and the Dutch flag. Hence, the websites were clearly targeted to the Netherlands, which is prohibited under Dutch gambling law.
Investigations took place between March and April 2014. Although the websites involved currently block Dutch players, this is insufficient to prevent the illegal offer in mid-2014 from being fined. By ignoring the Dutch prohibition on offering online gambling targeted to the Netherlands, it was emphasized that the operator and software supplier involved wilfully took the risk that sanctions would be imposed.
The software supplier – offering casino software packages – defended itself by stating that the Dutch language option was purely a language assistance for those players residing outside the Netherlands who prefer a Dutch website. This defence failed; the use of Dutch language is part of the KSA’s prioritization criteria, meaning that enforcement by the KSA is initially focused on operators who, e.g., offer online gambling services in the Dutch language.
Also, violations of Dutch gambling legislation can be attributed to (de facto) directors in case they fail to take measures to prevent violations, while they are reasonably required to do so. The KSA ruled that the directors at hand should have taken appropriate measures to prevent the websites from focusing on the Dutch market. The failure to do so gave the KSA cause to fine the directors as well.
Notices of objection to the decision of the KSA can still be lodged.
Please click here for the report issued by the KSA.