Kansspelautoritiet, the Dutch gambling authority, has fined ten companies in 2019, for offering betting and gambling in the Netherlands. A total of €3.5 million in fines were handed out this year, which is over 50% more than what was spent in 2018. The country is a hotbed for online gaming activity, so it isn’t any surprise that some operators have chosen to tip toe very carefully around regulations.
The reason for more in fines paid this year is due to the maximum fine amount being raised to €200,000. The gambling authority penalized more companies this year – with one being a repeat offender here in the Netherlands. Most of Europe is clamping down on illegal gambling, with new laws and sanctions being imposed in numerous countries in the EU.
As it stands today, the only gambling operator regulated by the state is Holland Casino. Yet there many foreign companies contining to ignore the ban and still offer services for Dutch bettors. On top of this, many of the online gambling sites offer Ideal, which is a Dutch payment service offered to players looking to fund their accounts online.
New Laws Coming to the Netherlands
A new law was voted on earlier this year to allow the online gambling market to open up to other companies, but it does not come into effect until 2021. Once it is in effect, it does contain restrictions and would work on fighting gambling addiction.
Players will have to register to take part and state their betting limit before starting. Players will also be sent alerts from time to time to remind them of the risk of gambling addiction. However, the fact that players will be able to register at any new casino online will be historic, as it will then be 100% legal and will allow operators to not get hit with heavier fines moving forward.
Firms that offer gambling will have to provide an addition expert and pay taxes of 29% on gambling revenues. For those offered services and were found to have broken the law, they will only be allowed to apply for licensing once a cooling off period is completed.
The latest operators to be fined include LeoVegas and their subsidiary Royal Panda. LeoVegas was fined €350,000 and Royal Panda an additional €400,000. Regulators found that both sites were open to players located in the Netherlands via a Dutch IP address.
Additional companies who suffered fines by the regulator include 1xBet and The Stars Group. For The Stars Group, which operates the PokerStars.eu site in this jurisdiction at the time, was found to have been accessed by 33,000 players in the Netherlands during a six-week time frame.
With that many players accessing just a poker site alone, it is no wonder why so many operators have chosen to turn a blind eye when it’s come to ignoring regulation and hefty fines. The money is simply too big in the Netherlands, and it would seem that “the end justifies the means” in terms of getting as much action as possible out of the bettors here before facing any warnings or other fiduciary actions that may be brought forth.