Dutch regulator shuts down illegal bingo and lottery operations

| By Robert Fletcher
Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) issued cease and desist orders to two operators of online bingo and commercial online lottery services that were found to be running illegally on Facebook.
netherlands

Luxury Bingo and BSB Shop were both operating on the social network – with the latter also active on the Discord group-chatting platform – but were ordered to halt operations.

In the case of Luxury Bingo, KSA said it warned the operator that it was in breach of national gambling laws, and while Luxury Bingo initially ceased online bingo activities, the KSA took action when it resumed operations.

As such, the page Luxury Bingo was using to offer online bingo was removed from Facebook, while the operator also faces a penalty of €3,000 (£2,576/$3,563) each time it breaches regulations, up to a maximum of €30,000.

BSB Shop initially offered commercial online lottery via a Facebook but switched to Discord after it was contacted by KSA over its activities.

The regulator said that BSB Shop would be issued a penalty of €7,000 each time it breaches regulation, up to a maximum amount of €35,000.

“The KSA takes action against illegal games of chance; it is prohibited to offer a game of chance without a licence,” KSA said. “Participants in illegal games of chance are not assured of a fair game, so the KSA therefore warns consumers against participating.”

KSA in November last year announced that it was to begin reporting illegal ‘dipping’ lotteries found on Facebook to the social media giant in an effort to clamp down on activities in the country.

‘Dipping’ lotteries are games where players can pay to enter prize draws for cash and other prizes, for which entrance fees are paid via internet banking to operators based in the Netherlands and other countries.

The decision to work more closely with Facebook came after the regulator in February 2020 gave a warning to players to avoid them in February, reminding them that such activities are not legal.

KSA issued a similar warning over online bingo in May last year, saying it would not hesitate to act if games are organised to earn money or scam players.

In July this year, KSA took action to remove a number of Facebook pages offering illegal lottery games in the country.

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