29 November 2016

Collecting Penalties against Remote Gambling Providers

Collecting Fines against Online Gaming Providers is a Sham

The Dutch authority on gaming, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has serious problems to collect fines for illegal online gaming, according to the Chairman of KSA. He has indicated so in an interview in the Dutch Financial Times of Novemer 26, 2016. Collecting Fines against online gaming providers is apparently very hard for the Dutch Authority. Infringements of the Dutch gaming law from abroad means that a fine of EUR 10,000 up to 10% of the yearly turnover can be imposed. For fines of criminal offenses the arrangement collecting these is better than for administrative fines illegal gaming. The chairman of the Dutch gaming authority has asked Dutch policy makers to do something about this.

Legalizing online gaming in 2017

The KSA chairman is complaining about this problem on the eve of legalizing remote gambling in The Netherlands. The proposal for the new law has to be notified by the Dutch Senate. The Remote Gambling Law allows large online providers, such as Poker Stars or Unibet, to apply for a license on the Dutch gaming market. Online gaming at the moment is still illegal. It is expected that the online gaming market opens up in 2018. The Dutch law makers intention is that 80% of online gamblers who will bet with a license holder will have to pay 29% gaming tax. At the moment approximately half a million Dutchmen are gambling illegally on the Internet.

Fighting illegal gaming providers

The KSA expects that remaining 20% illegal gaming will be stopped by law enforcement. The KSA is of the opinion that they are well equipped to do necessary law enforcement. The KSA chairman is aiming for more effective collection of fines and he also targets the payments of the providers. He indicates that with large credit card companies as well as iDeal arrangements been made to keep out illegal providers. Read more: Bill on Remote Gambling in the Netherlands.

Facilitating gaming by internet providers

In November 2016 the KSA has obtained a judgement from the court of Oost-Brabant, regarding a fine for a company which facilitated online gaming. According to the Chairman this is an important judgment. KSA is of the opinion that this judgment rules that facilitating illegal online gaming is punishable by law. This is, however, not a part of the new law on online gambling. The proposal to prevent internet providers to facilitate illegal gaming sites, did not pass the parliament. Therefore, the chairman indicates that KSA will ask internet providers to cooperate voluntarily. Apple has removed some illegal game providers from the app-store according to KSA.

Splitting up of Dutch casinos

Apart from legalizing the online gaming market, the KSA is preparing the privatization of the Dutch casinos (Holland Casino). Just like the online gaming, the authority will have to give permits for the casinos.The new casino law will probably be in force as per 2018. Probably the applications for casino permit and the tender procedure will take place in the course of 2017.

Source Financieel Dagblad (in Dutch): interview with the Dutch Gaming Authority