Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), Dutch gaming authority amerced the Curacao-licensed operator Virtual Coin Gaming for having offered illegal online games of chance through the websites www.futgalaxy.nl and nl.futgamer.com.
The scheme was targeting Dutch customers and the fine is worth €500,000 (£450,000/$613,000) and another €100,000 penalty issued to a particular individual, involved with that business.
The KSA stated that minors and young adults were involved in the illegal games of chance. Each of them was themed around a card game Fifa Ultimate Team, featured in EA Sports’ Fifa video game series. This particular series is strictly banned by the authorities in Netherlands.
Dutch Customers Targeted
According to the gambling regulator, it was proven that both sites targeted Dutch customers. The use of Dutch language, as well as the website’s extention dot.nl and the use of Dutch payment system iDEAL were part of the clues.
The KSA pointed that the Games of Chance Act was violated. The games provided by those websites were illegal since online gaming is prohibited in the Netherlands and thus current law does not allow an application for gaming license.
With the Remote Gambling Act, that is expected in 2021, the law will change and the online licenses will be allowed but only under strict conditions. This will happen on March 1 and will officially launch on September 1.
The license application process was due to start in July 2020 but was delayed to January 1. Due to the coronavirus pandemic the date was pushed back ones again to March.
Right after the information came out in 2019, that the Netherlands are changing their law for online gambling in the country, a total of 79 gambling companies indicated that they are interested in getting a license to operate on Dutch ground.
Kansspelautoriteit launched a period in which interested foreign companies could register for the chance to operate on the future reorganized market.
Its been long time since then but the interest is still alive in many foreign operators. The details of the application process were set out in October. The future applicants must prepare their policies on different issues important for the gaming world, such as integrity and addiction prevention.
Also in October, the regulator started a consultation on the Netherlands player protection rule. One of them is ban on promotional bonuses and strict restriction on advertising.
The current gambling law in the Netherlands enables international operators to service local gamblers in an unregulated environment, since it does not have a framework that governs the provision of online gaming services. This has been for many years not.
Things should change after March 1. The authorities state that if the gambling law takes effect on that date, the application process should start right away.
Source: “KSA issues €600,000 in illegal gambling fines”, iGaming Business, January 8, 2021
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