The Dutch gaming regulator KSA has carried out raids on homes in the Netherlands and Spain.
The Netherlands.- Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Dutch gambling regulator, has conducted raids on homes in The Netherlands and Spain as part of a probe into illegal gambling.
The regulator said the owner of the homes raided is suspected of money laundering and of offering unlicensed gaming in the Netherlands. The raids in the Netherlands took place in the northern municipality of Velsen. The KSA said two luxury cars, money, jewellery and paperwork had been seized.
The KSA said it had worked with police, the Public Prosecution Service, the Tax Authorities, the Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) and the municipality of Velsen under the Regional Information and Expertise Centre (RIEC) North Holland to combine resources and expertise.
The regulator also investigated two companies in Curaçao, which are now being assessed by The Netherlands’ Tax and Customs Administration.
It said illegal gambling operations blurred boundaries between the underworld and society because criminals set up businesses to run their activities, applied for permits and rented or bought buildings, requiring wider cooperation, for example from estate agents and notaries.
The KSA argued that illegal operations were thus able to put pressure on authorised business operators.
KSA fines Curaçao-based Raging Rhino
The raids come as KSA announced it had issued a fine of €440,000 against Curaçao-based igaming operator Raging Rhino for offering unlicensed gaming in the Netherlands.
The KSA found that Raging Rhino’s LuckyDays.com site had been accessible to Dutch customers. The site offered links to problem gambling help services in Dutch and allowed customers to use Dutch payment processing solution iDEAL.
The Dutch regulator found that between May 1 and July 31 last year, 224,630 transactions amounting to more than €18m were processed through iDEAL. Access to the site in the Netherlands has since been blocked.
The KSA opened the Netherlands igaming licensing process on April 1 as the Netherlands’ new Remote Gambling Act came into force after several delays. However, the regulator has stressed that offering online gaming remains prohibited until the licensed market opens on October 1.
Dutch and British gambling regulators increase collaboration
The KSA has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the British Gambling Commission on online gaming matters ahead of the launch of the Netherlands’ regulated gaming market.
The MoU allows for the regulators to share information and work more closely together on regulatory issues surrounding online gambling. It comes as the Netherlands prepares to launch its regulated igaming market from October 1.
The two regulators also intend to collaborate on player protection efforts and measures against money laundering and terrorist financing.
KSA chairman René Jansen said: “The MoU forms a good basis for sharing knowledge, cooperation and a smooth exchange of information. A clear signal is also given to providers of games of chance that cooperation is taking place at an international level.
“Online games of chance move across borders. That is why it is important that regulators work together.”
The Netherlands’ new Remote Gambling Act (KOA) was implemented on April 1, when KSA opened the licensing application process for igaming operators.
The Dutch regulator has said it expects to issue around 35 online gambling licences initially.