Dutch regulator to fine illegal operators 4% of turnover

The KSA will increase its fines for unlicensed operators.
The KSA will increase its fines for unlicensed operators.

The KSA will increase fines for unlicensed operators that offer products to customers in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands.- The national regulator De Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has announced new measures against unlicensed gaming operators in the Netherlands. It comes after Sander Dekker, the minister of legal protection, told parliament the country would launch a major clampdown as the licensed online gambling market opens on October 1.

It will introduce higher fines after the launch of the licensed market, going beyond the current basic €200,000 fine introduced in 2019. Operators whose annual turnover from the players in the Netherlands surpasses €15m will be fined 4 per cent of that turnover, starting at a minimum of €600,000.

The KSA said it would estimate turnover based on the figures unavailable. The fines may be higher if there are aggravating circumstances, such as gaming being aimed at minors or a lack of information about addiction prevention.

The regulator said it would prioritise targeting unlicensed operators that attract the most players or that pose the greatest risk to consumer protection.

KSA chairman René Jansen said: “It must pay off to apply for a permit and to offer it legally instead of illegally. That also means that it must really hurt financially if an offer is made illegally.”

The KSA began taking licence applications for the Dutch online gambling market in April. It plans to announce the first licensees at the end of this month.

Certain operators, including Unibet and Betfair, have not yet been allowed to apply for licences because they were found to have been illegally active on the Dutch market in past years. They will be able to apply for licences no earlier than April 1, 2022.

Jansen said: “At the end of September, it will be announced which companies have succeeded in obtaining a permit. There are strict conditions attached to a permit. Legal providers are supervised by the Gaming Authority. The intent of the law is to “channel” players from illegal to legal providers.”

The KSA has also published new reporting regulations for the online gambling market. The rules, which build on previously announced reporting requirements, give licensees 72 hours to report serious incidents that could negatively impact trust in the sector.

See also: Dutch regulator and media watchdog sign gambling ad protocol

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