The Kindred Group has been handed a €470,000 fine by the Dutch gaming authority, Kansspelautoriteit for offering online gambling through unibet.eu.
Issuing the penalty to Trannel International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kindred, it’s the latest in a steady stream of similar punishments issued by the Ksa over the last 18 months, which most recently saw the regulator impose a €350,000 fine on ElectraWorks Limited for offering online gambling via the Bwin.com site.
Research by the Ksa showed that online gambling was offered to Dutch consumers during a four month period from August to December last year, which highlighted that it was possible to pay with the Dutch payment method iDEAL.
Furthermore, a Dutch-language chat service was also available, with terms and conditions on the site included a list of countries whose residents were excluded from participation, with the Netherlands not included.
Games such as blackjack, roulette and poker could be played on the website, in addition to sports bets also offered, with Kindred appealing the ruling.
In its ruling the Ksa stated: “Offering online games of chance is currently prohibited in the Netherlands. Under the current Betting and Gaming Act, it is not possible to grant a licence for this, because the law does not provide for effective instruments for supervision. This situation is going to change.”
Earlier this year it was revealed that the Dutch senate had passed the Remote Gambling Act, for which it has set a target of coming into effect on Wednesday July 1, 2020, with permit applications able to be processed from that date, and the market for online games of chance then able to be officially open from Friday January 1, 2021.
Kindred maintains a commitment to obtain a licence for online sports-betting and gaming as soon as the market opens, and said in a statement concerning this judgement: “Kindred respects any requests from the Dutch regulator and is fully compliant with the rules set out by the Ministry of Justice and Security earlier this year. Kindred remains committed to having a constructive dialogue with the regulator and other stakeholders.
“While anticipating the establishment of a regulated online gambling market in 2021, Kindred aims to play a leading role in promoting Dutch gambling policy objectives, such as consumer protection. For instance, Kindred emphasises its ambition to reach zero per cent revenue from harmful gambling by 2023.”