The Netherlands Gambling Authority, the Kansspelautoriteit (abbreviated as KSA) has imposed a fine of €531,250 on the Malta-based subsidiary of German operator Tipico for illegally offering online gambling to Dutch consumers. The decision comes just a week before the opening of the country’s igaming market.
The online games of chance were offered via the tipico.com website. At the moment, Tipico’s website can no longer be reached with a Dutch IP address.
A starting fine of 200,000 euros applies for this violation. In addition, three other fines of €75,000 ($87,881) each were imposed.
One fine for offering live bets and online casino, the second fine for including an “inactivity fee”, which charges customers for holding money in their account for long periods of time without playing, and the last fine because Tipico had not provided proof of its verification measures.
This form of betting carries a higher addiction risk than bets that can only be made before the start of matches. Furthermore, the fine was increased because the age of the players was not visibly verified.
The Netherlands is taking steps to crack down on unlicensed operators as the country prepares to open the market. Earlier this week, Sander Dekker, Minister of Legal Protection, has written a response to the House of Representatives, he said that the KSA should no longer tolerate those operators who make their games available to Dutch players even if they do not offer Dutch language sites or domains.
The Minister of Legal Protection has told the regulator to formulate plans for “intensification of enforcement”. He wrote:
“I want the channelling of Dutch players towards the legal offering”
“That’s why I want to prevent players from getting the opportunity offered to continue to play with illegal providers on a large scale. I have requested that the KSA establish principles for a step-by-step intensification of enforcement in its policy.”
The KSA then is taking a number of new tougher penalties for illegal operators in the market. Any illegal offerings will incur a fine, which may be fined up to 4% of turnover. The KSA will estimate financial positions should figures be unavailable.
Any illegal offerings will incur a fine. Earlier this year, the Dutch Gambling Authority announced that 29 applications had been submitted from operators seeking to offer online games in the country’s regulated market.