Kansspelautoriteit to Scare Off Illegal Gambling Operators with “Terrifying” Fines

Kansspelautoriteit introduces more “terrifying” fines to scare away violators of its rules for the provision of online gambling services

The Netherlands Gaming Authority announced yesterday that the minimum fine for providing illegal online gambling services to Dutch customers will increase to €200,000 from €150,000. The revised rules on penalizing erring online gaming and betting rules are taking effect today, March 1.

The regulatory body further pointed out in a Thursday statement published on its official website that the new fines are only an interim step toward a major revision of its penalty policy.

The announcement about the increased penalties for violators of the nation’s rules for the provision of digital betting and gaming services arrives on the heels of the recent passage of the Remote Gaming Bill. The Dutch Senate finally approved the piece of legislation three years after the lower house of the Dutch Parliament gave the nod to its provisions.

Now as the Remote Gaming Bill has survived all legislative hurdles, the Netherlands has commenced the process of re-organizing its gambling market in a manner that would enable international online gambling operators to apply for a license with Kansspelautoriet and operate in a regulated environment. It is yet to be seen when exactly first regulated services will commence in the newly liberalized space.

Previous Fines “Not Terrifying Enough”

Commenting on the amended fines, Kansspelautoriteit Chairman René Jansen said that the previously imposed penalties were “not terrifying enough” to prevent internationally licensed companies from targeting Dutch gamblers. The regulator went on to say that the implementation of increased fines was only the first step in the local market’s re-organization process.

The new regulatory regime actually provides the Netherlands Gaming Authority with increased power and responsibilities in relation to keeping the local gaming and betting space clean from unregulated operations.

Kansspelautoriteit explained yesterday that the new €200,000 fine would be the starting point. Penalties could go up or down depending on the violations made by operators. The number of illegal websites operated by a given company, the type of games and of promotional activities conducted by violators and their marketing partners to lure Dutch people into gambling will be among the factors considered by the gaming regulator when deciding on the size of a fine.

Fines can also be hiked on percentage terms. Operators that have previously been warned by Kansspelautoriteit but have dismissed the warnings will have their penalties increased by a quarter. A 50% rise awaits those targeting minors or people with problem gambling behavior. Last but not least, companies previously slapped by the Netherlands Gaming Authority will receive fines two times the size of the €200,000 minimum.

Russian gambling operator 1xBet was the most recent violator of the Netherlands’ gambling rules to be fined by Kansspelautoriteit. The parent company of the popular betting operation was imposed a €400,000 penalty earlier this week for conducing unregulated services on the territory of the Netherlands.

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