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KSA orders Betonline.ag to cease and desist

| By Zak Thomas-Akoo
Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has ordered Betonline.ag operator Blue High House to stop offering gambling services to Dutch consumers.

If Blue High House does not comply with the order, KSA will hit the operator with weekly €43,000 fines up to a maximum amount of €129,000. Blue High House does not have a licence to offer gambling in the Netherlands.

The operator had two weeks from the decision – which is dated 29 September – to comply with KSA’s order. This means the final deadline was 13 October.

Offering gambling without a licence is considered a violation of the 2019 Betting and Gaming Act. This is the law which established the Netherlands’ regulated online gambling market in October 2021.

KSA begins investigation of Blue High House

The regulator began its investigation of Blue High House in December 2021. KSA found it was possible for investigators to create a player account, make a deposit and place bets. Blue High House took no technical steps to prevent this from occurring.

As part of the registration process, the operator required users to fill in personal details. In the online form, the Netherlands was automatically selected. The Dutch +31 country code was also filled in in the phone number section.

Investigators again logged into the site in August 2023 and found that it was still possible to bet on the site with a Dutch IP address. KSA also cited web traffic data, which showed that the site received 136,569 visits from May 2022 to May 2023.

As such, the regulator opted to order the business to cease and desist from offering unlicensed gambling to Dutch consumers. Blue High House did not exercise its option to respond to KSA’s judgement.

LCS to contest KSA fine

The ruling comes days after KSA published its decision to fine Sonofslots.com-operator LCS Limited €2.1m for offering unlicensed gambling.

LCS has chosen to dispute the decision, accusing the KSA of “carelessly” putting together its report on its activities. In an official statement, the operator blasted the “excessively punitive” fine and pledged to aggressively appeal.

The operator also said recent media reports that it had reentered the Netherlands were not accurate.

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