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Dutch Gambling Regulator Cracks Down on Casino.com

Kansspelautoriteit (KSA)

The Netherlands gambling regulator, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has cracked its whip on Casino.com, owned by parent company Onisac Limited. The regulator was not happy with the company for offering illegal online gambling. Netherlands legalized online gambling recently. However, the agency has not yet started issuing licenses.

The KSA has slapped a fine of $507,000 or €450,000 on Onisac. This penalty is for a number of offenses committed by it. The regulator has levied two separate fines of €200,000 or $225,000 for providing games of chances to residents of the country through online, and other of $56,000 or €50,000 for charging inactive players.

The agency felt unreasonable to charge them of administrative cost after 180 days of inactiveness. The watchdog felt that this administrative cost is disadvantageous to customers. Following the crackdown, Casino.com is not available to the Netherlands customers.

The KSA chairman, Rene Jansen said that the company is a repeat offender. He added, “That makes the violation extra harmful and is the reason to double the fine.” The regulator is not sparing any efforts to bring the illegal offshore operators to book. The agency does not mind slapping higher fines to dissuade the offshore operators. For instance, the smallest fine increased from €150,000 to €200,000 or from $169,000 to $225,000.

The continued crackdown shows its commitment to take hard decisions on illegal operators. This is evident from the escalation system if the operator fails to cooperate with the agency. On the other hand, there is some leniency if the operators cooperate with the regulator.

The KSA has slapped a total fine of about $1.95 million or €1.734 million on 23 individual sanctions in 2018 alone. This represented a sharp increase from $110,000 or €978,604 in 2017 and $454,000 or €403,000 in the preceding year. In 2019, there is another online operator Casumo that faced a hefty fine of $350,000 or €310,000. The company offered online gambling services illegally.

The actions being taken by the KSA shows that the agency is getting more power and is looking to streamline the sector. The agency has the powers even to block the IP addresses of any operators providing illegal offshore online platforms. It is likely that the process of issuing a license could start next year only the regulatory guidelines are established.

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