BUSINESS

Dutch regulator issues record €480k fine to repeat online gambling offenders

TAGs: Kansspelautoriteit, Netherlands

dutch-gambling-fines-redslotsGambling regulators in the Netherlands have slapped a record fine of nearly half a million euros on the operators of an unauthorized online gambling site.

On Tuesday, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) ordered two companies behind online casino site Redslots.com to pay fines of €240k apiece for promoting the casino via a variety of Dutch-language sites and offering new Dutch punters a signup bonus.

The two companies behind Redslots – Redcorp SA and Bluemay Enterprises NV – may sound familiar, as the KSA fined them each €130k in October 2014 for similar shenanigans involving 7red.com and RoyaalCasino.com.

The KSA said it began its latest investigation in November 2014, suggesting they didn’t have much faith that the original fines had convinced the companies to stay on the straight and narrow path. The KSA also claimed that its latest action indicated that just changing a domain name wasn’t enough to throw their bloodhounds off the scent.

The KSA found it particularly odd that the site’s payment processing was handled by Megaten Ltd, a UK-registered subsidiary of Bluemay Enterprises. The odd part is that UK filings list Megaten as having ceased operations in 2004, suggesting that Megaten is basically Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense, i.e. it doesn’t yet realize that it’s dead so it continues to process Haley Joel Osment’s online slots play.

The KSA announced in July that it was ready to mete out harsher punishments to online gambling delinquents and said the enormity of the latest fines was justified because the previous fines left no doubt that the operators understood that their presence was unwelcome in the Netherlands.

The country is in the process of liberalizing its online gambling market and has ordered all would-be license applicants to keep out until the new regime is ready sometime in 2017 (it hopes). The legislation would also offer the KSA greater powers in cracking the skulls of unauthorized operators and the KSA urged parliament to get a move on as they’ve already ordered their new ACME thumbscrews.

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