Hillside New Media Malta, the company that operates Bet365 in the Netherlands, has been hit with a €400,000 by the Dutch regulator, de Kansspelautoriteit (KSA). The fine was handed out as a result of an advertising breach by the operator. This comes after a string of fines has been handed out by the regulator.
The fine was handed out following an investigation into the operator’s marketing activities by the operator. The KSA was informed about the company allegedly sending out promotional material to an 18-year-old player.
Under current Dutch gambling laws, operators cannot send promotional material to young adults between 18-24. The complaint was first raised to the KSA in January 2022. The regulator then began an investigation into the operator’s advertising activities that lasted several months. This investigation uncovered several other instances of the operator breaching the same rule. As such, the KSA fined them for breaching article 2, paragraph 4 of the Dutch Gambling Act.
The decision was initially appealed by Bet365. The company argued that the KSA had misinterpreted the rules. It defended itself by saying that while the rule was clear on a ban for those aged 18-24, it only covered adverts that were specifically targeted towards young people.
The KSA was quick to reject the appeal and ordered Bet365 to pay the fine. The size of the original fine was €350,000, but it increased the fine to €400,000 due to the delays in the case.
The regulator has issued a statement regarding the fine. They said that vulnerable groups, including young adults, must get extra protection from operators and that operators must fully respect the rules. It finished the statement by saying that Hillside New Media Malta had failed to do that and was fined as a result. Hillside New Media Malta has yet to comment on the fine.
The Dutch Gambling market opened for business in October 2021, and the KSA has been quick to establish itself as one of the more stringent regulators on the continent. An annual report from the operator revealed that they had handed out €22m in fines throughout 2022, a figure that has received some criticism from within the industry.
One of its biggest fines was handed out to Equinox Dynamic and Domiseda and Partners. The Slovakian company was fined €1.8m in February 2023 for offering games of chance in the country without the necessary licenses.
The Dutch market continues to grow, with the regulator revealing that they had received 27 license applications throughout 2022, awarding 13 of them.