Dutch Regulator Cracks Down On Unlicensed Operators

February 10, 2023
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The Netherlands Gambling Authority has fined two unlicensed gambling companies €900,000 each for letting Dutch residents play.

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The Netherlands Gambling Authority (KSA) has fined two unlicensed gambling companies €900,000 each for letting Dutch residents play.

In addition, the companies, Curaçao-based Equinox Dynamic and a subsidiary, Slovakia-based Domiseda and Partners, lacked adequate facilities for age verification, the KSA said on Thursday (February 9).

Age “was not visibly verified” before enrollment was complete, the authority said.

The casino games sites were accessible from Dutch IP addresses, had a Dutch telephone area code, “Netherlands” was a choice in many drop-down menus, “euro” was already filled in under payments and live chat was in Dutch, the KSA said.

Equinox argued that its website only temporarily allowed Dutch players by mistake and it was eager to cooperate with the regulator, the authority wrote.

In 2021, although it had 9,565 visits to its websites by Dutch players, that was only 29 accounts, the company said.

The KSA responded that companies need to take “active measures” to prevent Dutch players from gambling if they do not have a licence to offer gambling in the Netherlands.

It boosted the minimum fine amount of €600,000 each by considering violations of Dutch law alongside the inadequate age verification.

Adding to the cost of the fine was that the site improperly had autoplay, unlawful account inactivity costs and lack of playing limits, or playing limits already filled in, the authority wrote.

The KSA estimated that the company’s website, orientxpresscasino.com, generated €8.4m in revenue from Dutch residents.

Earlier this week, the KSA fined a licensed gambling provider, Bingoal, €350,000 for not checking if players were listed on the national self-exclusion list, Cruks, for several days in June 2022.

Last week, KSA chair Rene Jansen said the regulator was preparing to issue black-market operators more than €25m in penalties.

Also this week, the finance minister of Curaçao gave more details on the Caribbean island’s attempt to reform its gambling legislation.

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