Illegal gambling sites fined 26 million euros

The Gaming Authority (Ksa) has handed out fines worth more than 26 million euros to five parties that offered illegal online gambling in the Netherlands.

The most heavily fined company, N1 Interactive, has to pay almost 13 million euros. Colleague Videoslots has been fined just under 10 million euros. These are the highest Dutch fines ever for this offence.

According to the Ksa, the companies, all established in Malta, did not have the license required to offer games of chance via the internet in the Netherlands.

The fines were already announced to the providers themselves at the end of December. But they then tried to prevent their sentences from being made public through the courts. The judge rejected those requests this week, which is why the regulator is now coming out with it. Objection proceedings by the parties about the penalties are still pending.

Turnover high

The fact that the fines are so high has to do with the turnover achieved in the Netherlands. A lot of money is made by the parties involved with illegal online roulette, blackjack, poker, baccarat and slot machines. “We mean business. Player safety is paramount. A fine is to hit where it hurts, so in the wallet,” says Ksa chairman René Jansen.

In the case of N1 Interactive, the fact that the company had already gone wrong before also played a role. The Ksa had also previously fined the company. Videoslots, in turn, was guilty of additional deception by falsely displaying the wordmark of the Ksa on its website.

“It is precisely this logo that is important for players to be able to determine whether they are dealing with a legal range of games,” says Jansen.

The other parties fined are Betpoint, Probe Investments and Fairload. Online gambling has only recently been legally regulated in the Netherlands. It has only been possible to offer legal online gambling in the Netherlands since October 1, 2021.

Currently 24 providers

The Ksa had previously issued gambling licenses to ten providers. That number has now grown to 24. If a company does not have a license and allows Dutch people to gamble from elsewhere in the world via its website, this immediately constitutes a violation. They must ensure that it is impossible to play from Dutch IP addresses.

The fined parties have since ceased their activities on the Dutch market, the Ksa said. All five are still unlicensed. That will also remain the case for a while, because in order to qualify for a license, they must not have offered online gambling games here for at least two years. (AP)