Court rules Dutch regulator can fine unlicensed operators
The Netherlands’ gaming authority’s right to fine unlicensed operators has been confirmed by the country’s top court.
The District Court in The Hague found that Kansspelautoriteit was within its rights to hand out six-figure fines to Co-Gaming Limited (formerly Come On), based in Malta, and ONISAC Limited and Mansion Online Casino Limited, both based in Gibraltar.
The companies are believed to have already paid the fines but chose to also appeal their cases.
According to a statement released by Kansspelautoriteit, the court accepted that offering gambling online is prohibited in the Netherlands and that the gaming authority is empowered to act against it. It said this prohibition and enforcement of the gaming authority in accordance with the court is in line with European Union law.
Kansspelautoriteit said: “The gaming authority is pleased that the court based its policy to address these providers in the interests of the consumer.
“The current law now does not provide the opportunity to legally bet online. Operators therefore do not bind to strict conditions. With illegal online gambling players (consumers) face risks such as manipulated games and gambling debts.”
Although online gambling is still illegal in the Netherlands, licences are granted, but for games of chance, they must not be in the Dutch language, have a website address ending with .com or be advertised through radio, television or print media.
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