The gambling regulatory body of the Netherlands has issued penalties to two foreign online gambling operators that have offered their digital gambling products to local players without the required Dutch licenses.
Periodic penalty payments were issued by the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), with the gambling watchdog warning the two offshore companies – Winning Poker Network and Goldwin – that they would have to pay a larger fine for their week they continue to operate in the country without the necessary permit issued by the local competent authorities. As a result of the warning, Goldwin ceased its operations in the Netherlands. Winning Poker Network, however, does not seem much bothered by the gambling regulator’s actions because it continued to accept Dutch players on an alternative online gambling platform.
As found by an investigation carried out by the regulator, Goldwin accepted wagers on its westcasino.com online gambling platform, although it did not hold an operating permit in the Netherlands. After facing a €239,000 worth of a periodic penalty to a maximum of €717,000, the operator stopped accepting bets from Dutch customers.
On the other hand, Winning Poker Network pledged to stop offering its services in the Netherlands after receiving a prior warning. The gambling company blocked local audiences’ access to its americascardroom.eu platform but its truepoker.eu platform continued to accept wagers from Dutch gamblers. As a result, the Kansspelautoriteit decided to impose a fine.
Goldwin Ceases Operations in the Netherlands Following the Periodic Fine
The chair of Kansspelautoriteit, René Jansen, confirmed the penalties and pledged that the KSA team will continue fighting against unlicensed gambling. He explained that the gambling regulatory authority remains committed to promoting safe and regulated gambling services while battling operators that offer their services to local customers without owning the required operating permits.
As mentioned above, the country’s gambling watchdog imposed some periodic penalty payments as a result of the violations, with the regulatory breach of Winning Poker Network resulting in €25,000 a week to a maximum of €75,000. As the KSA highlighted, the size of the periodic penalty payment was determined by multiple factors, including the volume of the illegal company’s business.
At the time when the Kansspelautoriteit made its original announcement, Winning Poker Network had not yet ceased the operation of its other gambling platform in the Netherlands. That is exactly why the regulatory body shared its intentions to continue its investigation after the penalty settlement, saying that it may have to consider some additional enforcement action in case the company continues to breach the country’s gambling legislation.
Recently, the KSA has called for local lawmakers to update legislation that would provide it with more powers to fight illegal gambling in the country. The authority suggested some improvements, saying that making the Dutch gambling laws more up-to-date will have a significant impact on the local gambling market.
For the time being, the Dutch gambling market is considered one of the strictest ones in Europe, as it only allows companies that own KSA-issued licenses to operate in the country. Such operators are also required to make sure they abide by some strict rules seeking to guarantee excellent protection against gambling-related harm and fair game.