Kansspelautoriteit, the Dutch Gaming Authority, recently imposed fines amounting to €600,000 over illegal games of chances provided by two websites. Nl.futgamer.com and www.futgalaxy.nl are the websites in question, which are both owned and operated by Virtual Coin Gaming. The two websites found themselves on the wrong side of regulations after it targeted Dutch consumers. The sites offered Dutch consumers a chance to indulge in games of chance associated with EA Sports’ FIFA video games. However, according to a Dutch law passed in 2019, the move is illegal, thereby attracting a fine of €500,000 for the Curacao-licensed operator. The Gaming Authority further fined an individual connected with the illegal activity.
Heavier Penalties Levied on the Curacao-licensed Operator
According to the Dutch Gaming Authority, the two websites attracted a heavier penalty than the usual low six-figures for a few reasons. First, the authorities uncovered the games of chance were offered in the Dutch language.
What further compounded the woes for the operators was the intentional targeting of the Dutch market. This was supported by the fact that one of the websites supported iDEAL, which is a Dutch payment processor, and the website also had a .nl extension. In addition to offering illegal games of chance in the Dutch market, Virtual Coin’s websites were found guilty of attracting young adults and minors since they were among the site’s customers.
Curacao-licensed casino operators have been on the receiving end of Gambling Authority’s six-figure penalties in recent years. However, issuing these fines has been rather rosy but collecting these sums seems to everything but rosy. With that said, it will be interesting to see whether the new agreement with the Netherlands concerning Curacao-licensed operators interested in the Dutch market will translate to enforcing such regulatory penalties.
According to Dutch laws, online gambling activities are prohibited. However, there seems to be hope for iGamers in the country as the Government seeks to establish new online gambling regulations, known as the Remote Gambling Act (RGA) on March 1st of 2020. This will lead to the opening of the online gambling market later in September but under strict regulations.
There seems to be a bump on the road, however, after a blog in the country, Gaming In the Netherlands, reported over Christmas an impending delay on the RGA’s enforcement. According to the blog, the delay could extend by a month for reasons not stated. Therefore, this means pushing the online launch down to October 1st. These are simply speculative reports and the Dutch Government is yet to respond to them.