Dutch Gaming Authority Levies More than 25 million Euros in Fines for Illegal Gambling Sites
The HAGUE, Netherlands (February 3, 2023) — At the end of December, the Gaming Authority (Ksa) imposed fines worth more than 25 million euros on seven operators of illegal online gambling websites. These fines have been imposed for offering online games of chance on the Dutch market without a licence. This was announced today by the chairman of the board of the Ksa, René Jansen, in a speech in Amsterdam during the Annual Gaming Industry Event.
First stopped and now penalized
These providers have already been ordered, under penalty of a penalty, to stop offering games of chance without a licence. At the end of January, the Ksa already announced that a fine of 900,000 euros had been imposed on Shark 77. Due to ongoing legal proceedings, the Ksa is not yet disclosing which other six parties have been fined. It is first up to the court to rule on disclosure. In a general sense, the fines can be explained in more detail.
Adjusted fine policy
The fines imposed – which are much higher than before – are based on the adjusted fines policy of the Ksa. In addition to increasing the basic fine, a higher fine can now also be imposed on the basis of the calculated turnover. If there are circumstances that increase the fine (for example, failure to apply proper age verification), the fine may be increased.
In itself, offering online games of chance without a license already results in substantial sanctions. In every fining decision, the unlawful advantage for illegal providers is taken into account. This concerns, for example, the costs that permit holders do have to incur for applying for and maintaining a permit; about 800,000 euros per year and even double that amount to 1.6 million euros for the first year of operation.
In almost all cases of the offenders there were aggravating circumstances, such as:
- Pre-filled ‘Dutch’ information, such as +31 at the entry screen for telephone numbers
- An autoplay or turboplay button, so that a game cannot be interrupted and therefore bets can be much higher
- Unreasonable terms and conditions, such as a minimum amount for awarding or paying out prizes
- Not applying proper age verification
- Allow prohibited payment methods such as crypto, or be able to pay anonymously
- Unlawful use of the word mark of the Gaming Authority and/or falsely suggesting that one is a licensee
Never before have such high fines been imposed on illegal providers of online games of chance.
The regulation of the games of chance market revolves around the rules of the game as stated in the laws and regulations. Providers with a license from the Ksa must comply with this and may in turn demand that the Ksa act against excesses and illegal providers.