LCS has become the latest firm to be penalised by the Dutch gaming authority, Kansspelautoriteit, with the €2.07m fine following a number of financial sanctions that have been handed down throughout the year.

This follows a long protracted dispute that initially began in March 2022 when it was discovered players could access the group’s Son of Slots site. In addition to providing an opportunity to access online games of chance, the regulator also noted concern at a focus on the Dutch market.

“The website was accessible from a Dutch IP address and an account could be created and participated in games of chance from the Netherlands,” the Ksa’s noted in its sanctions decision.

A July 2022 follow-up discovered that there was no change to accessibility, with a cease and desist order subsequently issued a little over one month later.

This saw the company notified that it would have to pay a penalty of €55,000 per week or part of the week, amounting to a maximum of almost €165,000, for a lack of adherence. An investigation conducted on September 14, 2022 discovered that the site was no longer accessible. 

According to the KSA’s notice, LCS argued that the regulator “would not have the authority to take action and that there was no reason to start a sanctions investigation”.

It is added that the group insisted that it does not focus on the Dutch market, that it is not possible to successfully log in from the Netherlands and compete and that visitor numbers were incorrect.

“According to the Gaming Authority, LCS’s argument cannot succeed,” the Ksa countered. “The website was partly aimed at the Netherlands. LCS seems to wrongly assume that the violations observed in March 2022 and July 2022 cannot be justified”.

Disclosing its reasons behind the amount handed down, the Ksa added that it was determined on the basis of its current fine policy and turnover achieved in the country, among other undisclosed factors.

“An order subject to penalty is an often very effective method to immediately stop illegal supply,” noted René Jansen, Chair of Ksa. 

“However, illegal providers who subsequently go black should not think that they have ‘bought off’ their illegal activities: the previously committed violations can also be punished. 

“In addition, we continue to carry out re-checks to verify whether the supply has actually been and will continue to be discontinued.”

Last month, Jansen called for operators in the Dutch market to take a greater duty of care when it comes to protecting players from gambling harm and problem gambling.

In a blog post, he highlighted a recent investigation that revealed operators were not reacting quickly and efficiently enough to players who showed possible signs of gambling addiction.