Kindred Group's Trannel International subsidiary has been issued with a fine of €470,000 (£430,344/$521,950) by Dutch regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) for offering online gambling services to consumers in the country without a licence.
The KSA said an investigation into Trannel's Unibet.eu site revealed Dutch consumers were able to access games such as roulette, poker and blackjack, as well as sports betting between August 11 and December 27, 2018. The site may have been accessible to players in the country for longer, it noted.
The site had also targeted Dutch players, the KSA said, by offering a live chat service in Dutch and by accepting iDEAL, an online payment solution only available in the Netherlands. Furthermore, the regulator added, the Netherlands was not included in the list of countries where residents were prohibited from gambling in the site's terms and conditions.
Online gambling is currently illegal in the Netherlands, though the country is set to launch a regulated market on January 1, 2021 after the Dutch Senate in February passed the Netherlands’ Remote Gambling Act.
Subject to approval from the Ministry of Justice and Security, the law will come into force from July 1, 2020, after which the KSA will draw up licence conditions ahead of the proposed launch date six months later. Per the regulations, only operators that have had no activity in the country for two years prior to the introduction of legislation will be eligible for a licence.
“Gambling providers that target Dutch consumers are being dealt with as a matter of priority,” the KSA said. “A focus on the Netherlands can be shown in various ways, such as using the Dutch language and being able to pay with the Dutch payment method iDEAL.”
The fine comes after Trannel was also ordered to cease operations in Norway in April after being accused of targeting consumers in the market by the country's gambling regulator Norwegian Gaming and Foundation Authority (Lotteri- og stiftelsestilsynet).
The Authority said at the time that Trannel had been operating a number of sites illegally, including Unibet, Maria Casino, Storspiller and BingoLottstift, in breach of the country's ban on offshore providers.