Gaming regulators in the Netherlands have slapped yet another six-figure fine on an unauthorized online gambling operator.
On Tuesday, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) regulatory body announced that it had imposed a €170k fine on Trustfulgames, the operator behind the Malta-licensed Tiplix.com online betting site, for offering unauthorized online gambling services to Dutch residents.
The KSA initially determined that Tiplix.com was ripe for disciplinary action due to its offering a Dutch-language version of its website, although the site has evidently scrapped its Dutch-language option following the KSA’s investigation. Regardless, the site had clearly been pitching sports betting, slots and online casino games to Dutch punters without a Dutch license, so wham, bam, Amsterdam.
The KSA hasn’t been shy about cracking the whip on online operators deemed to be flouting Dutch gambling law, having tarred nine operators with its scarlet letter in 2016. Last December, the KSA streamlined its enforcement policies to allow it to proceed directly to the punitive stage rather than first issuing the offending company a written warning.
Trustfulgames’ fine is larger than the €150k maximum the KSA announced as its new benchmark for badness in July 2015. However, the KSA’s new enforcement regime allows for penalties of up to €810k for repeat or particularly egregious violators, so hang your head in recidivist shame, Tiplix.
Earlier this month, KSA CEO Marja Appelman (pictured) told Gaming In Holland that there were “more efficient methods to protect consumers than issuing fines to operators,” including targeting “facilitators” such as app stores and payment processors, in order to “choke off the access points through which unlicensed gambling business is conducted.”
That said, Appelman insisted that the KSA would continue to directly target online operators if they are found to be “in clear violation of our enforcement policies.” Appelman maintained that the gaming industry “needs a strict gatekeeper to ensure a healthy market.”
The clock is officially ticking on whether the Dutch senate will approve the country’s long-delayed Remote Gaming Bill before parliamentary elections take place in March. Only then can the KSA begin the process of vetting applicants for the new Dutch online licenses.