Dutch Regulator Flexes Muscles
Yet another online gambling firm has had its wrists slapped by Kansspelautoriteit, the official body that is in charge of keeping tabs on companies that are part of – or taking advantage of – the Netherlands’ gambling market.
CyberRock And HoneyDew Fined
In a statement that was released earlier this month, the regulator stated that it would be issuing a fine of €350,000 to CyberRock Entertainment, as well as one to Honeydew Trading Limited. It can be confirmed that both of these fines are due to the operators attempting to target Dutch gamblers, but without having any legal licence that would enable them to do so.
Kansspelautoriteit declared that both organisations have been reaching Dutch customers via a number of online brands, including the Play2Win casino, despite the fact that remote gambling services are not currently permitted in the Netherlands.
Though these two firms are the latest to be caught up in a gambling furore in the Netherlands, they are certainly not the first, and it is unlikely that they will be the last.
Back in August, Betsson – a firm based out of Malta – was handed a penalty of €350,000, while in September, MRG, which was recently the subject of a huge takeover bid from William Hill, was hit with a fine of €312,500. From these four instances alone, it can be seen that Kansspelautoriteit has issued fines well in excess of €1m.
Awareness Of The Law
René Jansen, who is the chairman of Kansspelautoriteit, believes that this recent spate of fines highlights the fact that many Dutch people simply aren’t aware of the current laws around online gambling.
Speaking in a press release following the decision to fine CyberRock, Jansen said that he believes gambling companies are taking advantage of this ignorance, and could actually end up targeting Dutch gamblers to the point where they risk becoming the victims of ‘serious cybercrime and fraud‘.
However, the public are not the only ones at fault. The country’s Remote Gambling Bill was expected to be signed off over two years ago, but numerous hurdles have got in the way to halt its progress.
Earlier this year, the Dutch Senate started the process of pushing forward with making the bill part of Dutch law, but given that the initial legislation was pushed through the Lower House in July of 2016 – over 26 months ago – it is unlikely that the process will be fast.