The Dutch gambling regulator, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has initiated its latest enforcement actions against unlicensed operators, targeting Winning Poker Network and Goldwin Ltd.
Both companies were threatened with financial penalties unless targeting of Dutch customers ended. Neither company holds a licence with the KSA, and so are deemed ‘providers of illegal online games of chance’.
René Jansen, KSA Chairman, explained: ‘It must pay off for providers of games of chance to offer their games legally. That is only possible if we take the wind out of illegal supply. We are fully committed to stopping these practices.”
In the case of Winning Poker Network, the KSA had issued the firm with a warning that an enforcement action would follow if its unlicensed activity continued, and the firm ‘promised to stop offering online gambling’ in the Netherlands.
However, a KSA investigation found that the company was still active via a new website, www.truepoker.eu, whilst the older website which had first brought to the regulator’s attention, americascardroom.eu, had been taken down.
As a result the KSA has issued a ‘periodic penalty payments’ of €25,000 per week with a maximum of €75,000, effectively meaning the penalties can last no longer than three weeks.
However, as Winning Poker Network has not yet shut down its Dutch operation, the KSA explained that enforcement action can be taken again following the conclusion of a second investigation.
Meanwhile, GoldWin has received a penalty of €239,000, with a maximum of €717,000 for allowing Dutch customers to gamble via the westcasino.com website deposit the firm holding no licence.
In contrast to Winning Poker Network, Goldwin has ceased operations in the Netherlands, although the KSA asserts that the order subject to periodic payments remains in force and enforcement action will be taken again should activity resume.
Operating without a licence has been a contributing factor behind several major KSA fines over the past year, with the KSA issuing fines totalling €26m against Videoslots Limited, N1 Interactive Limited, Betpoint Group Limited, Probe Investments Limited and Fairload Limited.
However, in recent months marketing and self-exclusion violations by licensed operators have resulted in financial penalties. For example, bet365’s HIllside Technology was found to have marketed to consumers aged under 24 and a self-excluded customer was able to visit a Merkur Casino venue.