Dutch Regulator Issues a €400,000 Fine Against Entain-Owned BetCity

Published April 30, 2023 by Ivan P

Dutch Regulator Issues a €400,000 Fine Against Entain-Owned BetCity

The KSA fined BetCity for advertising its Betent brand to audiences in the 18 - 24 age bracket, who are considered particularly susceptible to developing a gambling addiction.

The Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the agency in charge of regulating all gambling activities in the Netherlands, slapped Betnet, a gaming brand owned by BetCity, with a hefty €400,000 fine for breaking advertising guidelines.

BetCity is currently owned by the iGaming giant Entain Group, but the cited transgressions happened before the company acquisition, which was first announced in June 2022.

Targeting Vulnerable Audience

According to the statement from the KSA, the fine was issued for Betent's failure to follow the advertising guidelines required by the law. From Oct 2021 through March 2022, the company sent out marketing messages targeted at users in the 18 - 24 age bracket, who are recognized as a vulnerable group.

In these messages, Betent advertised its BetCity brand without taking any precautions to ensure this particular group wouldn't see them. According to the regulator, this practice is against the rules and frowned upon as young people's brains are still developing, which makes them much more susceptible to potentially developing a gambling addiction.

Continued Efforts by the KSA

This wasn't the first such fine issued by the Dutch regulator in the recent period. Other gambling operators faced the same scrutiny earlier, including Hillside New Media (owned by the betting giant Bet365) in March, JOI Gaming in January, and TOTO Online in November. Just like Betent, companies were fined €400,000 for marketing their gambling products to young audiences.

The KSA clearly states that targeting the youth with gambling adverts is against the law and will not be tolerated. According to René Jansen, the KSA chairman, all marketing activities are closely monitored, and these fines remind gaming operators that rules exist for a reason and must be followed.

The most recent recipient of the five-figure fine, BetCity accepted the regulator's decision but emphasized that the fault wasn't entirely on the company. According to the explanation from BetCity, the advertising rules pertaining to young audiences were somewhat ambiguous. This fine, as well as the ones preceding it, should help remove any uncertainty.

These measures are just the tip of the iceberg in the Netherlands. There is also a plan to ban all sports sponsorships connected to online gambling products, which should come into force by the end of 2025, and other preventative measures are designed to protect the most vulnerable groups in society and reduce the adverse effects of gambling addiction.

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