The Dutch gambling regulator issued record penalties worth 1.7 million euros in 2018. However, the collection of these fines could be more difficult than simply levying them.
The gambling regulator of the Netherlands, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) stated that its total fines imposed on operators are worth 1,709,800 euros, which is near twice the 1 million euros’ worth of penalties imposed in 2017. It is also four times as much as the total penalties imposed in 2016. By comparison, the UK Gambling Commission imposed a total penalty worth 27 million pounds in 2018 alone.
The Dutch regulator is increasing its fines and penalties year on year, owing to the new rules related to online operators who didn’t take adequate measures to discourage the Dutch residents from accessing their sites. The lion’s share of 2018’s penalties is imposed on five international licensed gambling operators- William Hill, Mr. Green, Bet-at-Home, CyberRock/Honeydew, and Betsson.
The KSA did not announce the total amount of fines it has collected during the year, leaving space for speculations about not have collected any at all. It is important to note that the operators fined by the KSA are licensed in jurisdictions where the regulator holds no authority.
The KSA doesn’t issue its own gambling licenses, an issue highlighted by the former chairman and vice-chairman of the regulator who stepped down from their position in October last year. They criticized the regulators for their role in delaying the implementation of the Remote Gambling Bill. If the bill sees daylight, it will allow the KSA to issue online gambling licenses.
The lower house of the legislature greenlighted the gambling bill three years ago, but the Senate hasn’t taken any steps to implement it yet. However, the Senate recently announced that will meet on February 5 to discuss the Remote Gambling Bill, followed by a vote on February 12 if the bill doesn’t meet significant objections.
Collecting the penalties could be a tough job for the KSA as some of the operators are appealing against the levees, claiming that the Dutch gambling rules contrast with the laws of the European Union. They are referring to rules against unfair trade restrictions between member states. Dutch courts, on the other hand, do not seem pleased with the arguments.