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Dutch regulator shuts down illegal bingo operation

| By Robert Fletcher
Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has shut down an illegal bingo operation in Dordrecht, near Rotterdam.
Dutch illegal bingo

KSA previously took action against the same organisation, which it said hosted events that attracted hundreds of people. The regulator said minors were among those who attended the illegal bingo sessions.

An earlier KSA investigation found the “Dordtse Queens” operation was advertising bingo on Facebook. Meta, the parent company of the social media platform, took these pages down after being contacted by KSA.

However, further investigations by KSA revealed the same organisation continued to both advertise and run illegal bingo across other pages.

Prizes confiscated during raid

Inspectors from KSA identified the location of a planned physical bingo event in Dordrecht. It carried out a raid at the premises, where approximately 200 people were in attendance. Prizes on offer included branded clothing, bags and shoes, with these being confiscated during the raid. 

Dutch law states that bingo is only permitted under strict conditions. These include a game taking place within a closed circle of people who know each other, such as a family or within a company.

Associations may also organise bingo for a good cause and prizes can only have a maximum value of €1,550 (£1,356/$1,683). These game types require a permit from the local municipality.

“KSA sees that people are not always aware of the rules surrounding bingos and lotteries,” KSA said. “For bingo, participation in illegal bingo is in principle also punishable and minors are not allowed to participate in any case. Organisers of illegal lotteries and bingos also risk a high fine.”

KSA clamping down on illegal gambling in Dutch market

This case marks the latest example of KSA’s efforts to tackle illegal gambling in the country.

Last month, MKC Limited was fined €900,000 for illegally offering gambling services in the Netherlands. The group allowed Dutch residents to play at its unlicensed Betworld247 site.

Players could create an account with Dutch address details at Betworld247 and participate in online gambling. KSA said no technical measures had been taken to prevent participants from the Netherlands, citing potential IP blockades as an example. 

According to KSA, MKC’s actions were in violation of the Dutch Betting and Gaming Act. This mandates all operators must be locally licensed to legally offer gaming services.

MKC was also stripped of its Maltese licence earlier this year.

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