Operators taking their chances by offering unlicensed gambling services to Dutch punters can expect to see an emboldened and assertive regulator in coming months following a decision this week by the Dutch Council of State – the nation’s highest court – that Kansspelautoriteit has the right to impose hefty fines on gambling sites it decides are contravening Dutch laws and regulations.
The court ruled following an appeal by two companies, Co-Gaming Ltd (ComeOn) and Mansion Online Casino Ltd against six-figure penalties imposed by the regulator some time ago.
Co-Gaming was handed a Euro 180,000 for offering services on a Dutch language website, alongside Dutch national emblems, whilst Mansion faced a Euro 150,000 fine for offering services in Dutch and permitting punters in the Netherlands to make financial transactions through the Dutch processor iDeal.
The two companies challenged the fines initially in mid-2017 in appeals to the District Court of the Hague, and were rebuffed leaving their last avenue for relief the Council of States, which has now also rejected their arguments.
In doing so the court was consistent with similar appeals from online gambling operators that it has rejected in recent times.
Meanwhile Dutch legislators continue in their decade-long halt and stumble over finally passing laws legalising and regulating online gambling, thus enabling reputable companies to apply for licensing.