Dutch gambling regulator fines bet365 €400,000

Dutch gambling licensees must not send promotional material to under 24s.
Dutch gambling licensees must not send promotional material to under 24s.

The KSA has handed out another fine for a breach of advertising rules.

The Netherlands.- The Dutch gambling regulator, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), is continuing its enforcement actions, announcing another fine against a gambling operator. The KSA says it has issued a €400,000 penalty against Hillside New Media Malta, the operator of bet365 for breaching advertising rules.

The regulator says that bet365 breached the Netherlands’ rules against targeting gambling adverts at young adults. It began an investigation after being told in January 2022 that an 18-year-old had received emails from bet365 about registering with an account. Some of the emails contained details about bonus offers.

Dutch gambling legislation prohibits operators from promoting gambling to players aged under 24. The KSA’s investigation found that several other players aged under 24 had also received emails. It therefore found bet365 to have breached article 2, paragraph 4 of the Dutch Gambling Act.

bet365 appealed, arguing that the KSA had misinterpreted, claiming that the wording does not entail a complete ban on sending promotional messages to under 24s but rather that adverts must not be specifically targeted at the 18 to 24 age group.

However, the KSA has rejected its appeal and decided to increase the initial €350,000 fine to €400,000 due to the seriousness of the case and the fact that breaches occurred over several months.

The KSA said: “Vulnerable groups, such as young adults, must be given extra protection. The minds of young people are still developing. As a result, they are more vulnerable to developing a gambling addiction. 

“Gaming providers must fully respect the rules intended to protect vulnerable groups. That did not happen here and therefore we have issued this fine.”

The latest fine comes after last week the KSA said it had issued a €4.4m penalty against Gammix for failing to comply with an order to stop operating in the Dutch online gaming market. Earlier this month, the KSA revealed that it had fined five online gambling operators a total of €26m. The fines were issued against operators that the KSA says were targeting the market without local licences.

The Netherlands is expected to introduce a complete ban on untargeted gambling advertising at some point this year. Neighbouring Belgium has announced a similar gambling advertising ban to start in July.

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gambling regulation KSA