KSA hikes penalties for unlicensed “gambling columns”

The unlicensed gambling services were banned in 2014.
The unlicensed gambling services were banned in 2014.

The Dutch gambling regulator has raised the maximum fine by 400 per cent.

The Netherlands.- The Dutch gambling regulator, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has significantly raised its penalty fees amid an increase in the use of “gambling columns”, illegal betting services used in sports bars and cafes that do not have gambling licences.

The range of penalties available to the regulator when such operations are detected will increase from between €7,500 and €20,000 to between €25,000 and €100,000 for each device found. That’s an increase of 400 per cent in the case of the maximum limit. The fine in each case will depend on the severity of the breach. Use by minors will be seen as grounds for a higher fine.

The regulator noted that so-called gambling columns are now often provided using laptops or smartphones. They were explicitly banned in 2014. The KSA said they pose a risk of money laundering and tax evasion as well as to vulnerable gamblers.

The KSA said: “The number of types of gambling columns is increasing. It is also notable that mobile devices, such as laptops and phones, have an increasing share of the devices used. The KSA’s administrative fines comprise a fixed fine per device found. It does not matter whether the device is in full or in part as a gambling column.”

New regulatory unit

Last month, KSA chairman René Jansen revealed that the gambling regulator will create a new Online Duty of Care Department as a temporary measure. The special department will focus exclusively on monitoring the fulfilment of online gambling operators’ duty of care.

Announcing the news in a speech at Gaming in Holland in Amsterdam, Jansen said the KSA would take on ten to 15 new staff to run the department. The unit will begin operating on September 1. 

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