Ksa vows to continue combating illegal operations in H1 breakdown


The Kansspelautoriteit has vowed to maintain an ongoing enforcement crusade, particularly when it comes to illegal operations, amid reflections of work undertaken during the first half of the year.

The Dutch gaming authority has been on something of a regulatory rampage through 2023 after issuing a slew of sanctions, which has represented a step-up from action taken through the previous year.

This saw eight fines become imposed at the end of 2022, which were subsequently made public during the current year, which represented a total financial penalties of €30m.

These, however, are just a smattering of the punishments handed out, with a penalty package of €26m isssued to N1 Interactive (€12.64m), Videoslots (€9.87m), Betpoint Group (€1.78m), Probe Investments (€1.12m) and Fairload (€900,000).

Remaining with illegal operations, the end of the past year saw the country’s regulator commence an investigation at the eight most visited affiliates that advertised unlicensed online casinos and contained detail on how to circumvent the Cruks self-exclusion system.

“This investigation is in progress,” the Ksa updated. “A violation was actually found at four of these eight websites, which the Ksa will take enforcement action against. 

“For example, notice and takedown procedures are used or parties are requested by means of enforcement interventions of a more coercive nature to make the websites inaccessible from the Netherlands.”

Furthermore, 32 investigations into illegal offerings on social media sites, with Instagram and Facebook cited, have also been conducted.

These establishment or suspected violations have been reported to Meta, the parent company of each, with the relevant pages and accounts immediately closed.

The land-based ecosystem has also been firmly on the Ksa radar, with enforcement officers having provided support to municipal and police teams on 42 occasions.

The final item on the agenda concerned a Ksa finding “that illegal providers are increasingly accepting cryptocurrency as a payment method online”.

During H1, six investigations concerned the usage of Bitcoin, with each seeing a sanction imposed and operations discontinued in the country.

“The inspectors of the Ksa have a range of payment options at their disposal to demonstrate that payments can be made on illegal sites from Dutch soil,” the Ksa said. “Cryptocurrency has now also been added to this list of payment options.”

Earlier in the week, the Ksa warned the industry “not to push the boundaries” regarding an untargeted advertising ban that entered into force at the turn of the month. The prohibition is intended to heighten protections for vulnerable groups against the risk of gambling addiction.