Today, the Dutch Games of Chance Authority (“KSA”) published its decision to impose a total fine of almost EUR 500,000 on two gambling operators for offering online gambling aimed at the Dutch public.
The companies operating the gambling website at hand were subject to investigations carried out by the KSA during November 2014 – March 2015. Cause for the investigations was that the operators advertised the gambling offer through Dutch websites. During the investigations, the KSA became aware of several indications revealing that the Netherlands was targeted: games were offered in Dutch language, iDEAL was an available payment method and a Dutch flag / button was presented. Furthermore, the website’s terms and conditions stated that a free welcome bonus was offered to players from the Netherlands. All this is still strictly prohibited under Dutch law.
Interestingly, the operators involved already had been fined by the KSA in the past. In October 2014, both operators were fined EUR 130,000 each. Hence, the KSA decided to impose a deterrent amount with respect to the current infringement. Both operators still have the opportunity to object against the fines imposed.
The case concerned shows that the KSA keeps on moving forward by monitoring online operators, amongst which former offenders. At present, operators that wish to be active on the Dutch market cannot apply for a license in the Netherlands. However, this is likely to change in 2017. As far as a license under the future regime is concerned, it should be noted that licenses for remote gambling may be refused by the KSA in case of ongoing violations of the Dutch regulations. Therefore, it is recommended that current operators do not come to the attention of the KSA and that if they do, that the KSA’s demands are complied with within the set timeframe. Otherwise, the operator involved could face negative consequences.