The gambling regulator in the Netherlands has imposed a monetary penalty on Merkur Casino Almere for allegedly violating a self-exclusion rules by basically allowing an excluded player to gamble over the course of two weeks.
The Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) revealed that the person in question was registered in the self-exclusion register of the country – CRUKS – and was supposed to be suspended from playing with local casino operators. However, the player successfully got into the Merkur Casino in Almere, and what is even worse – the casino staff allowed them to do so a total of nine times in the period between February 17the, 2022 and March 2nd, 2022.
The country’s gambling regulatory body investigated the issue and found that the casino operator clearly breached the gambling rules in the Netherlands and its own social responsibility obligations.
CRUKS is an official register that lists all people who have excluded themselves from high-risk gambling and all licensed gambling operators in the Netherlands are required to check whether a player is registered in the CRUKS or not. According to the Kansspelautoriteit, Merkur Casino Almere failed to properly follow exactly the measure seeking to protect Dutch gamblers who are more susceptible to gambling-related harm or gambling addiction.
Technical Error Resulted in Merkur Casino’s Violation of Self-Exclusion Rules, KSA Says
As revealed by the KSA, a technical error prevented Merkur Casino from properly checking whether the customer in question was part of the self-exclusion register or not.
According to the Netherlands’ gambling watchdog, Merkur Casino received an error message at the time it tried to check the customer’s name in the CRUKS. At the time, the casino staff could have decided to follow protocol and suspend the player from entering the venue until it was able to actually check whether they are listed in the register.
However, the employees of the Almere-based casino decided to take a risk and instead of banning the player from entering the venue at the time when they received the error message, they allowed the gambler to enter the casino and play.
That was a clear violation of the social responsibility and self-exclusion rules and, eventually, resulted in a €45,000 fine that was handed out to Merkur Casino by the Kansspelautoriteit.
BetEnt Faces $400,000 Monetary Penalty over Gambling Advertising Breach
The gambling regulator in the country has been taking its responsibilities very seriously. Recently, it announced a decision to impose a massive €400,000 fine on BetEnt over a serious breach of local advertising standards as part of which the casino operator was found to have targeted young adults with illegal advertisements.
Currently, promoting gambling services to vulnerable individuals is considered a serious breach of the Netherlands’ gambling laws. Young Dutch adults may not be prohibited from gambling but gambling companies that operate across the country are not allowed to target such audiences with adverts because young people are still vulnerable to potential harm and are more likely to develop problem gambling issues if exposed to gambling at an early age.
Although BetEnt may not have targeted young Dutch adults intently, its promotional messages ended up reaching exactly such an audience, the Kansspelautoriteit revealed.