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KSA fines GoldWin €6.7m for offering illegal gambling

| By Marese O'Hagan
Dutch regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has fined GoldWin Limited €6.7m (£5.9m/$7.2m) for offering gambling illegally in the Netherlands.
illegal gambling the netherlands, Dutch, KSA

This comes after KSA announced that MKC Limited was fined €900,000 earlier today, also for offering illegal gambling.

Malta-based GoldWin not being licensed to offer gambling in the Netherlands, and doing so anyway, is a violation of article 1, paragraph 1 of the Dutch Betting and Gaming Act (WOK).

KSA alleged that Dutch-based players could gamble on Westcasino.com, which is operated by GoldWin. It began its investigation of GoldWin on 22 December 2022, creating an account with Dutch details and placing bets on the operator’s website.

The regulator said no measures were taken to block players from the Netherlands from participating.

Accessible to Dutch residents

KSA cited data which showed Westcasino.com had received 843,132 visits from the Netherlands in 2022. The website and its customer service were available in English, but this could be translated into Dutch.

On 23 January 2023, KSA announced that it intended to impose a penalty order on GoldWin. Westcasino.com was subsequently investigated again on 2 March 2023, with KSA saying that the site was still accessible to those in the Netherlands. This was unless the world “employee” appeared in a customer’s name or email address.

The order subject to penalty was issued to GoldWin on 20 April 2023, instructing it to cease offering games in the Netherlands.

The total penalty relied on a number of circumstances. These included GoldWin’s estimated Dutch turnover, which KSA projects using a calculation method. This estimates that one visit from the Netherlands to an unlicensed remote gambling site generates €230.2 in turnover for the operator.

KSA decided to set the fine at 7% of the estimated Dutch turnover – which equates to €6.7m.

Developments at the regulator

The decision was signed off by KSA chair René Jansen, who is to step down from the position after his current term expires. He term is set to end on 1 October 2024.

During his time at the regulator, Jansen oversaw the launch of regulated online gambling in the Netherlands.

Earlier this month, LCS Limited announced it would “aggressively” appeal a €2.1m fine issued by KSA for allegedly offering gambling in the Netherlands while unlicensed. KSA says LCS made its Sonofslots.com site available for Dutch residents.

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