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Dutch gambling regulator fines operators €26m for breaches

Dutch gaming regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has slapped a hefty fine on five operators for going against its rules by granting Netherlands players unauthorized access to their gambling sites.

The KSA fined the operators a total of €26 million ($27.6 million) specifically for offering “online games of chance without a license.”

The KSA confirmed that in December 2022 it fined Videoslots Limited (€9.9m); N1 Interactive Limited (€12.6m); Betpoint Group Limited (€1.8m); Probe Investments Limited (€1.1m); and Fairload Limited (€900,000) for sundry offenses all relating to illegal operation in the Netherlands. The operators’ laundry list of offenses includes misrepresenting products offered as having a European license, having no visible or adequate age verification, permitting anonymous payment methods from players and so on.

While issuing the fines, the gaming watchdog explained that the fines were allocated based on how much profit the companies make in the Netherlands. This is in accordance with its newly formulated policies published in 2021.

KSA Chairman René Jansen commented: “We mean business. Player safety is paramount. A fine is to hit where it hurts, so in the wallet. With such amounts, we think we can impose an appropriate sanction, given the illegal earnings.”

Meanwhile, the KSA reports the operators did not take the judgement lying down. It noted: “after the fines were announced to the providers at the end of December, they asked the court to stop the publication of the decisions. The judge rejected the requests this week”.

The regulator however explained the rationale behind its fining the operators. In particular, the KSA noted it decided to fine N1 Interactive the most because the operator made a repeat of a violation it had once fined it for. In July 2021, the KSA fined the operator for offering games of chance to players in the Netherlands through its website.

In the case of Videoslots, which had the second highest fine after N1 Interactive, the KSA justified its decision by claiming the provider intentionally displayed the regulator’s word mark incorrectly in order to deceive clients. However, Videoslots shot back at the KSA by accusing it of misusing the mystery shopping system.

Videoslots reported that while the regulator’s logo was shown on its site, it was only briefly before it was taken down. In addition, it stated the regulator unlawfully accessed its site despite the provider’s security procedures against Dutch players. Ulle Skottling, Deputy CEO at Videoslots, said: “Videoslots does not target but restrict the Netherlands, so the Dutch Gaming Act does not apply to its services. No Dutch players were able to access our site during the disputed period and there was no violation as a result. The KSA calculated the fine based on several guesstimates. There is no basis for it and all sense of proportionality is missing. ”

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