Periodic Update on the Illegal Offer of Games of Chance

July 10, 2023 | illegal gambling

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (July 6, 2023) — In the first half of 2023, the Gaming Authority (Ksa) carried out various successful interventions to reduce the illegal supply of games of chance in the Netherlands. Various violations were identified, sanctions imposed and new investigative methods introduced.

Sanctions illegal providers

In order to stop illegal online supply as soon as possible after detection, the Ksa imposes an order subject to periodic penalty payments, instructing the provider to stop the illegal supply on the Dutch market. In many cases, providers immediately discontinued their offer; a fast and effective method. This year, the Ksa imposed a definitive order subject to periodic penalty payments on three providers because they did not stop the violation in time after intervention. When a violation has been established, the Ksa can also impose an administrative fine. At the end of 2022, 8 fines were imposed on illegal providers of online games of chance, with a total amount of almost 30 million euros. These were made public in the spring of 2023. Various fine reports are currently being prepared.

Advertising illegal games of chance

Illegal providers of online games of chance expand their player networks by advertising, among other things. This is not permitted under the Betting and Gaming Act. In many cases, this advertisement targets vulnerable players, for example by providing information about how to circumvent Cruks, the exclusion register. People who feel that their gaming behavior is getting out of hand can take a gambling stop because of this register. After registration, they can no longer play with licensed providers on the Dutch market.

At the end of 2022, the Ksa started an investigation into the eight most visited websites that, aimed at the Dutch market, advertised unlicensed online casinos and commented on the circumvention of Cruks. This investigation is in progress. A violation was actually found at four of these eight websites, which the Ksa will take enforcement action against. For example, Notice and Takedown procedures are used or parties are requested by means of enforcement interventions of a more coercive nature to make the websites inaccessible from the Netherlands.

Illegal providers also advertise on social media. In the first half of this year, the Ksa carried out 32 investigations into illegal offers on social media such as Instagram and Facebook. Established or suspected violations were reported to parent company Meta, after which the relevant pages and accounts were immediately closed.

Research bitcoin

The Ksa has found that illegal providers are increasingly accepting cryptocurrency as a payment method online. The inspectors of the Ksa have a range of payment options at their disposal to demonstrate that payments can be made on illegal sites from Dutch soil. Cryptocurrency has now also been added to this list of payment options. In the first half of 2023, six different investigations used Bitcoins to determine the violation. In all these cases, a sanction was subsequently imposed and the offenders discontinued the offer for the Netherlands.

Enforcement in the region

Illegal land-based games of chance are also dealt with by the Ksa. In 2023, enforcers have so far provided support to municipal and police teams in 42 cases, for example during raids and municipal actions. The Ksa can also seize equipment, for example from slot machines that are not allowed on the Dutch market. In addition, the Ksa is in constant talks with Regional Information and Expertise Centers (RIEC) to actively contribute to an integrated approach to subversion.

SOURCE: Kansspelautoriteit (Dutch Gaming Authority).

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