Dutch gaming authority the Kansspelautoriteit has imposed a €400,000 fine on TSG Interactive Gaming Europe for offering consumers in the country the potential to play poker via the pokerstars.eu portal.
Considered a game of chance by the Netherlands Supreme Court in 1998, only Holland Casino is allowed to permit the play of poker for real money in one of its physical locations, with all other physical or online offerings illegal.
The Ksa investigated the website during the second half of 2018, with a number of issues said to have been established that highlights that PokerStars “is aimed at Dutch consumers”.
It was also found that it was possible to pay with the Dutch payment method iDEAL, with a contact form also available in the relevant language and two Dutch organisations for addiction care mentioned.
Furthermore, the Netherlands was not mentioned on a list of countries from which participation was not permitted. A number of issues were adjusted during a second check.
The regulator stresses that it fights against illegal offerings because it is not possible under the current legal regime to obtain a license for online gambling.
It also went on to proclaim that consumers are not protected or assured of a fair game, as well as checks unable to be carried out to ascertain if minors are banned or whether attention is paid to addiction prevention.
Earlier this year the gambling regulator revealed that the Dutch senate has 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.
The Ksa emphasised that in order to secure the green-light to proceed onto the upcoming Dutch online market, applicants must have refrained from offering online games of chance, specifically aimed at consumers in the Netherlands, during the two years prior to the date of submission.