Bet-At-Home Slapped with Fines
German online gambling company Bet-At-Home has been slapped with a €410,000 fine by gaming regulators in the Netherlands for targeting customers in the country without acquiring legal approval and licensing.
Earlier this week, the Kansspelautoreit (KSA), Netherlands’ gaming regulator, made an announcement stating that it had sanctioned Bet-At-Home for a range of offenses. This included the promotion of products in the Dutch language, the use of the Dutch flag in its marketing collateral, and providing access to their website from Dutch IP addresses.
According to the KSA, these issues had already been discussed with the offender in 2012 and 2014. However, it was found that Bet-At-Home had been airing advertisements on a television channel that specifically catered to local residents. This discovery led to the regulator carrying out an investigation into Bet-At-Home’s activities.
The site was accessible to locals
KSA agents found that they were able to open links to the Bet-At-Home site even with a Dutch IP address and also conduct transactions using the Netherlands-based online payment processor iDeal. In fact, iDeal’s services were advertised on the Bet-At-Home website.
As a penalty, the KSA has now issued fines to two of the gambling operator’s subsidiaries. The fines, combined together, cost €410,000. This is roughly €70,000 shy of the €480,000 fine that KSA handed to multiple illegal online gambling sites in 2015 for repeatedly violating the rules.
The penalty doesn’t come as a surprise considering the fact that the KSA had issued warnings in 2016. The regulator had implemented a zero-tolerance policy against illegal gambling sites that catered to Dutch patrons.
In early 2017, the KSA issued newer and more stringent prohibitions against unauthorized online gambling sites leveraging Dutch imagery for the purpose of promoting their services. Restrictions were also levied against the use of payment processing services based in the Netherlands. The regulators even commanded such sites to geo-block punters in the country.
However, the KSA has been unsuccessful at collecting fines from offenders, especially when the offender does not have a physical presence in the country. But, things may be different in the case of Bet-At-Home. The Netherlands is working to liberalize the online gambling market and therefore, failure to pay the fines will work against the online gambling operator. Bet-At-Home could very well end up being banned from applying for a gaming license in the future.