Netherlands Takes More Aggressive Stance Against iGaming Operators

Published December 5, 2016 by Ivan P

Netherlands Takes More Aggressive Stance Against iGaming Operators

Starting with January 2017, unlicensed iGaming operators serving Dutch players will be facing much more sever fines, reaching as high as €820,000.

Netherlands decided to turn a new page in their battle against illegal online gambling operators. Kansspelaanbieders (KSA), the Dutch gambling regulator, announced the new year would see some important changes, including much bigger fines and penalties for those serving Dutch players without proper licenses.

Earlier Practices Proven Ineffective

In the past, KSA used to send warning letters to those operators illegally targeting Dutch players. Only after sufficient warning and explanation have been provided and an operator still failed to comply, KSA proceeded to issue a fine.

However, the regulator is now convinced this policy has become outdated. Operators have had plenty of time and warning to know full well what processes are in place for those who wish to provide iGaming services for residents of Netherlands. Thus, those who choose to willingly neglect the law need to face more severe consequences.

Hefty Fines Could Be Hard to Implement

Starting from January 2017, iGaming operators offering services to and targeting Dutch players will be slapped with hefty six-figure fines. Depending on the severity of the offense, an operator could face a fine of up to €820,000.

This is a significant increase when compared to current laws which stipulate the maximum penalty of €150,000. Kansspelaanbieders had fined a number of operators over the years, but the amounts were not nearly as high.

While the amount may look scary on the paper, Jan Suyver of KSA admitted issuing fines was one thing while collecting money was something completely different. Without necessary legal channels and cooperation with foreign countries, it is nearly impossible for KSA to collect on any of these fines.

Suyver expressed his hope and urged the government to help create these instruments which would make the threat of a fine a much more serious matter. As things stand now, he explained, penalties look "fun," but don't concern the violating operators too much.

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