KSA seizes ‘Cash Centers’ in illegal gambling crackdown
Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has seized a number of ‘Cash Center’ cash machines as part of a wider effort clamp to down on illegal gambling in the country.
The regulator has been working with the Dutch Public Prosecution Service on a nationally coordinated investigation into illegal gambling on the machines and is starting to seize machines to halt such activities.
Cash Centers are located in stores, tea houses, cafés and snack bars all across the country. The KSA did not state where the latest round of seizures took place, but it has stated that the focus on the investigation is on the Rotterdam region.
A number of seizures have also been made in Utrecht, The Hague, North Holland, Brabant and Limburg as part of the same investigation.
According to the KSA, unlicensed operators are using the cash machines to allow consumers to deposit and withdraw funds from an online betting account via an illegal website.
This account can be set up anonymously on a computer or mobile device, with users able to bet on sports events and claim any winnings at the Cash Center.
Last August, the KSA searched the premises of the legal entities that offer and distribute Cash Centers to retailers and catering establishments in the country, seizing documents and machines in the process.
The KSA and Public Prosecution Service have identified a number of individuals they believe are running the illegal operation. Around 14 people are considered suspects, including owners of both the machines and illegal website.
Online gambling is currently illegal in the Netherlands, but the country’s Senate last month moved to pass the Remote Gaming Act, paving the way for the roll-out of igaming regulation.
Since this ruling, the KSA has been seeking to clamp down on illegal activities in preparation for the launch of a regulated market, which may not be for another few years.
Earlier this month, the KSA increased its fines for unlicensed online gambling activities in the country, after saying the previous penalties were not “terrifying” enough, while the regulator has also launched a consultation into new consumer protection measures.
In addition, a series of operators have been issued with fines for illegal gambling activities in the country. 1xBet, William Hill, MRG and Betsson Group subsidiary Corona Ltd have all been handed penalties in recent months.