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Dutch regulator fines Bingoal for targeting ads at young adults

| By Robert Fletcher
Dutch gambling regulator de Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has issued Bingoal Nederland with a fine of €400,000 (£345,282/$427,678) for aiming marketing materials at young adults.
Holland Casino licence

KSA launched an investigation into alleged breaches after receiving reports that some operators had sent adverts to people aged between 18 and 24. The study focused on the period from 1 October 2021 to 1 April 2022.

During the investigation, KSA discovered that Bingoal had sent emails and messages to a number of players in the “young adult” age bracket.

Article 2, Paragraph 4 of the Dutch Betting and Gaming Act (Bwrvk) forbids licensed operators from directing adverts and promotions at young adults. 

In response to the findings, Bingoal admitted to sending the communications to the players in question, but denied they were targeted at the age group. Instead, the operator said the emails were sent out as part of general advertising to all players.

Bingoal also criticised KSA for not properly interpreting this law to operators, saying there is a lack of clarity on the term “targeting”. 

In addition, Bingoal said any fine should take into account its status as a licensed operator. It said imposing a fine of between €100,000 and €500,000 would give unlicensed operators, which do not have to comply with rules, an “effective” advantage over licensees. Bingoal said fines for licensed brands should be lower.

KSA fine

However, KSA ruled it would proceed with a fine, saying this tied in with similar decisions made as part of the same investigation.

In its conclusion, KSA said an administrative fine would serve as “justice” in the case and also takes into account the seriousness of the violation.

KSA said Bingoal breached the rules set out in the Bwrvk and noted that the operator did not take any action to halt certain emails form reaching young adults, despite having the technology in place to do so.

The regulator also dismissed Bingoal’s argument that the law is not clear, saying it is the responsibility of licensees to understand their licensing requirements. 

In reaching the €400,000 figure, KSA said €350,000 was for the actual breach, while the additional €50,000 was in relation to how long Bingoal had not been complying with the law.

The decision was reached and approved on 5 April.

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