The Netherlands has a huge customer base for online gambling. For the last few years, the top operators are focusing on the Dutch despite the fact that they have no valid license to do so. However, in recent times, the Dutch authorities have enforced laws and made amendments to curb the ever-growing online betting in the country. The regulators in Netherlands, Kansspelautoritiet have made it their mission to prevent unlicensed betting in the country.
In spite of the Kansspelautoritiet imposing huge fines on the major operators for providing online betting services to the Dutch without any license, the fines and the allegations imposed by the regulators have been fought in court by the operators.
In the month of July 2017, a case that was open for a long time was closed in the Hague District Court in the favor of the regulators. It caused an issue for the gambling companies in Malta, Co-gaming, and ONISAC as the Dutch Council of State favored the regulators and also emphasized on the fact that the fine slapped on the operators made sense because they focused on Dutch players which is against the gambling regulations of the country.
The case was impending since 2013, when Kansspelautoritiet levied huge fines on the operators, with a €150,000 fine on ONISAC and a staggering €180,000 on the Co-gaming operator as they provided online gambling platform in the Dutch language thus violating the Dutch regulations in play.
After the ruling of the court the operator Mansion, the owner of Casino.com and the Mansion Casino brands made a sad announcement on 25th September 2017, stating that they won’t allow Dutch players to participate in betting on their website. About the existing accounts of the Dutch players, they were to stay active till 3rd October 2017 for withdrawing their account balance and this information would also be conveyed through email. Their announcement ended by stating of the permanent termination of all Dutch trading accounts by 10th October.
Apart from Mansion and Co-gaming, there exists a number of operators who have been imposed fines by the regulators for targeting the Dutch players. Their latest fine was charged on two major operators. The fine of €300,000 was imposed on the operator called Betsson and €312,500 on Mr. Green.
Though the regulators have been busy stopping the operators from carrying unlicensed gambling in the country, they are also in the process of amending their gambling policies that will allow international operators to legally provide their platform to the Dutch people under certain checks and conditions. Even though such processes are in motion, the Council of State is also planning to impose a lifetime ban of the operators who were already charged by the Kansspelautoriteit.
Recently, in a press conference, Sander Dekker, the Dutch Minister for Justice and Security commented on the issue stating that the interested operators might have to wait for a while before they get a license for legally carrying out their operations in the country’s territory. The operators who followed the gambling norms prior to re-regulation process would be given top priority in the list of applicants seeking a valid license.