Netherlands gambling regulators have imposed a €600k penalty on a Curacao-licensed online gambling site for serving Dutch punters without local permission.
On Friday, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) gambling regulatory body announced a €500k penalty on Virtual Coin Gaming NV, the Curacao-based firm behind the Futgalaxy.nl and nl.futgamer.com gambling sites. An unidentified individual connected with the sites was personally penalized an additional €100k.
The sites offered games of chance linked to EA Sports’ FIFA video games, which are illegal under a Dutch law approved in 2019. The sites also offered betting markets on real world sports and eSports events using the FUT Coin virtual currency.
The KSA noted that the penalty was higher than the usual low-six-figure for “several reasons,” including the fact that the regulator had determined that “minors, or at least young adults,” were among the site’s customers.
Other violations including the standard list of KSA grievances, including offering Dutch-language services, handling payments via the popular Dutch iDEAL processor and employing a .nl domain.
Over the years, the KSA has doled out countless six-figure penalties against Curacao-licensed operators, although collecting these sums has proven a far tougher slog. It remains to be seen whether the new understanding with the Netherlands regarding Curacao-licensed operators’ targeting of Dutch punters might mean for enforcement of these types of regulatory penalties.
The Netherlands’ long-delayed Remote Gambling Act (RGA) is scheduled to take effect on March 1, with Dutch-licensed online operators scheduled to launch on September 1. However, the Gaming In Holland blog reported shortly before Christmas that the RGA’s entry into force could be delayed by one month for unstated reasons, which would push back the online launch to October 1. The Dutch government has yet to comment on this report.