Dutch District Court rules in favor of regulator’s casino fines

  • Legislators in the Netherlands have been allowed to fine three unlawful online gambling websites with fines
  • This comes as many of the country’s existing laws on the subject are being reviewed

Legislators in the Netherlands have passed a divisive law in favor of the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the country’s local casino regulator.

netherlands online casino law

The passing of the law means that the Dutch regulator’s right to “levy massive fines on foreign online gambling providers offering their products and services to players in the country without a local license” will be upheld.

Who was fined and why?

It was determined by the District Court in the Hague that the KSA should have the legal authority to hit any international online casino operators that unlawfully offer their services, or otherwise breach local laws, with fines.

Such fines are pointed toward three particular operators, all of whom are doing so under international licenses but without the legal permission of the KSA. These are known to be Co-Gaming Limited, Mansion Online Casino Ltd and ONISAC Ltd.

Co-Gaming Limited holds a Maltese license and in 2015, its fines in the Netherlands totaled €180,000. Meanwhile, Mansion Online Casino Ltd and ONISAC Ltd were hit with a combined fine of around €150,000 in 2014.

While each violator has paid their respective fine, they all chose to take the cases to the District Court in the Hague to be appealed. But at present, it is unclear as to whether or not any of the operators would attempt to reach the Council of the State of the Netherlands with these appeals.

Regardless of this, the KSA has issued a statement that expresses the so-called satisfaction it feels at the decision reached by the District Court in the Hague, by whom their policies are abided by and praised.

Changes and exchanges

As is currently the case with many other countries, states, and regions, the Netherlands is also in the process of amending some of its existing interactive gambling legislation.

Some of the changes will allow the country’s online casino market to be opened up to foreign competition, alongside aiming to quell problem gambling and enforcing stricter measures for player protection.

Under these amendments, it was ruled by the District Court in the Hague that illegally operating online casino websites are breaching the country’s gambling laws, and that the KSA was “within [their] right to fine unlicensed casino operators offering their services to Dutch players.”

However, earlier this month, Swedish operator Betsson opened an appeal to the European Commission with the aim of demanding that infringement proceedings against them be renewed after being put on hold after their initial opening in 2006.

Betsson is therefore arguing that reopening the infringement procedures is “necessary,” due to the Netherlands not having implemented any legal framework that adheres to the laws of the European Union.

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