The Netherlands Gambling Authority (KSA) has reinvestigated two operators that were ordered to stop receiving Dutch players and threatened with fines, revealing that Winning Poker Network has failed to comply with its demands.
On March 27, 2023, the KSA revealed that it had imposed an order subject to periodic penalty payments on Winning Poker Network, meaning it will now have to pay €25,000 per week, up to a maximum of €75,000.
The imposition of these orders has been a key tool used by the KSA in recent months to deter and punish unlicensed operators from targeting Dutch consumers. It coincides with enforcement action against licensees for breaching advertising restrictions.
Most recently, operator Bingoal was fined €400,000 for targeting advertising to people aged 18-24, which is banned in the country.
In its response to the KSA's concerns, Bingoal argued that imposing a fine of between €100,000 and €500,000 would give an advantage to unlicensed operators, arguing that any penalty should be lower than those imposed on unlicensed operators.
Announcing the latest enforcement action on June 7, René Jansen, chairman of the KSA, said: “It must pay off for providers of games of chance to offer their games legally. That is only possible if we take the wind out of illegal supply. We are fully committed to stopping these practices.”
After receiving its order, Winning Poker Network told the KSA that it would stop accepting Dutch players and during the re-check its original website, americascardroom.eu, was no longer accessible from the Netherlands.
However, a new account could easily be created on another website hosted by the same provider to participate in these illegal games, according to the KSA.
The KSA will continue to monitor the operator after the penalty payment, with the aim of stopping the offering completely.
If the operator is found to continue to offer its services without a licence, enforcement proceedings can be taken again.
GoldWin LTD, another operator that was reinvestigated for offering its services to Dutch players, was found to have complied with its order.
The KSA will continue to check in on the operator and if it is found to offer its games without a licence it will have to pay a penalty of €239,000, up to a maximum of €717,000.
Both of these decisions can be appealed.
Separately, on June 5, the KSA issued a legislative letter asking the minister for legal protection to make changes to Dutch gambling laws, aimed at improving player protection.
The Dutch government is undertaking a wider review of the Remote Gambling Act next year; however, the KSA believes the proposed changes cannot wait.
The KSA is asking for powers to allow it to create false identities to check if operators are complying with regulations, as well as changes to how it can use the data provided to it by licensees.
Other less pressing changes that the KSA has called for include altering the procedure for deregistering players on the national-self-exclusion register (Cruks) and updating what it calls the “outdated” slot machine regulations to bring them in line with existing online rules.