Entain-owned BetEnt fined €3m by Dutch regulator KSA for AML failures

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Kansspelautoriteit, the Dutch gambling authority, has imposed a fine of €3m on Entain-owned BetEnt for violations of the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act.

In September 2022, BetEnt, which offers sports betting under the brand name BetCity in the Netherlands, was initially instructed by KSA on how to properly carry out customer due diligence in accordance with the requirements of the Wwft and how to report them to the Dutch Financial Intelligence Unit in a timely manner.

After being investigated by the gambling authority to see if the Wwft was still being violated, it was found that the operator “did not meet the requirements for a large part of the customer due diligence assessed” between December 2022 and May 2023.

In many cases, the KSA noted that investigations by BetEnt began late, as well as after large amounts of money had already been gambled and that the operator “was lax in requesting sources of income from customers”.

The gambling authority also stated that adequate action was not always taken and that in many situations, BetEnt “failed to report unusual transactions to the FIU”, which is why the €3m fine has been imposed.

BetEnt can appeal the decision by the KSA should they wish to do so. 

René Jansen, Chair of the KSA, commented: “In May last year, the KSA issued a broad warning to licensed providers that they had to quickly get their Wwft affairs in order.

“We then indicated that if research shows that providers are underperforming in the field of the Wwft, sanctions will be imposed. We are now following up on this.

“We are now really out of the start-up phase of the market, and that also means that there are no more excuses for some things.”

Entain’s response

Entain has released a statement in response to the fine imposed on BetCity by the KSA, stating that it was aware of the previous instructions issued by the Dutch authority before it completed the acquisition of the sports betting brand in January 2023.

The gambling group added that it has begun introducing improvements to BetCity’s procedures and has fully cooperated with the KSA’s investigation.

The statement read: “The investigation relates to BetCity activities in the period December 2022 to February 2023 based on instructions previously issued by the KSA to BetCity in September 2022 (the “September 2022 Instructions”).

“Entain was aware of the September 2022 Instructions prior to completion of the acquisition on 12 January 2023 and the legal documentation relating to the acquisition contains customary contractual protections.

“Following completion, Entain commenced implementing improvements to BetCity’s procedures and control frameworks, has fully cooperated with the KSA investigation and is committed to working with regulators in all its markets to ensure the highest standards of player protection.”

BetEnt was also fined €400,000 by the KSA earlier this year in April for an advertising violation.