Netherlands Issues Record Fines; Impact on iGaming Legislation to be SeenPublished January 13, 2019 by Lee R
Has the struggle to regulate iGaming in the Netherlands experienced a hitch with record fines levied for 2018?
The Netherlands reports record fines for 2018.
Dutch gambling regulator Authoritativeness (KSA) puts the record figure at €1.7m (£1.5m/$1.9m) for fines in breach of its licence regulations for 2018.
A total of 23 sanctions handed down last year included seven administrative penalties, 12 penalties and four charges of administrative coercion.
Administrative penalties in the Netherlands are issuable without approval of Public Prosecution Service or judges whose penalties issued when offenders do not cease activities identified in violation of regulation during a stated time period of warning; administrative coercion is a measure consisting of KSA ordering specific action of an offender to bring them back in line with the jurisdiction's gambling regulations.
Found in Violation
Of the seven administrative fines, five related to online gaming pinched Betclic Everest Group's Bet-At-Home, Betsson subsidiary Corona, Mr Green operator MRG, CyberRock Entertainment and its Honeydew subsidiary, and William Hill for unauthorized targeting of Dutch players online where online gambling remains prohibited pending a stalled re-regulation bill.
An administrative fine was issued to internet cafe ITC lounge for offering sports betting services, and another issued to an unnamed individual operating two unlicensed slot machines.
Penalties have been on the rise in the Netherlands since 2012, the KSA was established. These new totals for 2018 represent a substantial jump over the €1m plus figure in 2017 and four times the €400,000 of fines issued in 2016.
The KSA further reported the revocation of a total of 37 gaming machine operating licences in 2018 with those penalties resulting in voluntary shutdown and license termination of the targeted holders.
Appealing the Verdicts
William Hill is appealing a €300,000 fine from the KSA after being penalised the bookmaker for offering online games of chance to Dutch consumers on WilliamHill.com website and two mobile applications; while Betsson is appealing a €300,000 fine for offering play to Dutch players via its Corona subsidiary.
Ironically, or contextually, the 1.7 million total still pales in comparison to the UK Gambling Commission’s financial penalty total for 2018 of upwards of £27m in a large iGaming market where online play is legal and fully regulated.
The sense is that the fines will be adjusted after the contests, with a precedent set for deterring and managing violators as a future model for the long awaited Dutch regulation era.