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Gambling Watchdog Slaps Six-Figure Fine on Netherlands-Facing Betsson Subsidiary

Casino News Daily
Gambling Watchdog Slaps Six-Figure Fine on Netherlands-Facing Betsson Subsidiary

The Dutch gambling regulator, Kansspelautoriteit, has slapped a hefty fine on a Betsson subsidiary for serving Dutch players without holding the necessary permission, the Malta-headquartered online gambling operator revealed in a press release from earlier today.

Betsson said that its subsidiary Corona Ltd. has been fined €300,000 by the Dutch gaming authority for targeting Netherlands-based customers. This has not been the first time Kansspelautoriteit has imposed a six-figure fine on an erring operator.

Betsson purchased Corona back in 2014 for the total amount of €100 million in anticipation for the re-regulation of the Dutch online gambling market. The company’s subsidiary owns the Oranje Casino and Kroon Casino brands which serve specifically Dutch customers.

Several other Betsson-owned online gambling entities had, too, been under investigation, it became known, but Kansspelautoriteit had ruled that those had not violated its rules. The major operator said in its press release from earlier today that discussions are being held whether they should appeal the Dutch gambling regulator’s recent actions.

Local gaming news outlet GamingInHolland noted in an article on the topic that if the penalty is not voided on appeal, Betsson’s erring subsidiary might not be found eligible to be granted a gaming license when the Netherlands finally re-regulates its market, under the most recent interpretation of the proposed amendments to the nation’s Betting and Gaming Act.

Market Re-Regulation Progress and Betsson’s War with Kansspelautoriteit

The re-regulation of the Dutch gambling market has proved to be a slow and lengthy process. New regulations, ones that would create a licensing system and would allow international companies to operate in a regulated environment, was originally expected in 2015. It is also important to note that it has been more than a decade now when European authorities first urged the Netherlands to adopt a more progressive approach towards remote gambling.

Following years of discussions and stalled progress, the Dutch Lower House passed the so-called Remote Gambling Bill in the summer of 2016. It was then up to the Senate to vote through the legislative piece. However, the upper chamber of the nation’s government is yet to take that necessary step. According to various reports, lawmakers will be targeting mid-2019 or early 2020 re-regulation of the market.

Betsson has long been one of the heaviest critics of the Netherlands’ slow progress towards adopting a new, modern regulatory framework. The company has also been repeatedly slamming Kansspelautoriteit for its approaches toward curbing the provision of unregulated online gambling services.

Last summer, Betsson called on EU regulators to interfere and prevent the Dutch gaming regulator from penalizing its Dutch-targeting brands. The company argued that Kansspelautoriteit had no authority to take enforcement actions against unlicensed gambling operators.

Betsson also filed a legal challenge in the Hague last year. However, the court sided with Kansspelautoriteit and struck down the operator’s claim.

While the regulator has slapped a number of hefty fines on operators targeting Dutch players over the years, it has faced difficulties in collecting those. It should also be noted that Betsson’s €300,000 penalty has not been the largest one ever imposed by the watchdog. Earlier this year, German gambling operator bet-at-home drew ire for trying to lure customers from the Netherlands and was fined €400,000 by Kansspelautoriteit.

The post Gambling Watchdog Slaps Six-Figure Fine on Netherlands-Facing Betsson Subsidiary appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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