Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the gambling regulators of the Netherlands, have issued a hefty €400,000 fine to gambling operator 1xBet for serving Dutch punters without local permission. On Monday, the governing body announced the eye-watering penalty sum of €400,000 had been issued to the companies behind the Curacao-licensed 1xBet and Cyprus-based 1xBet sites, along with 83 associated online domains which were found to be serving Dutch gamblers without consent. The KSA claims the offending domains allegedly targeted Dutch players between February and July 2018. The process of identifying unauthorised operators was simple, what with operators offering gambling services in the Dutch language and accepted deposits via the local and popular iDEAL payment option, but not only that, the operators failed to stop players with a Dutch-IP from accessing the website.
1X Corp NV claim the fine is unwarranted, basically because the amount of business that came from Dutch players was “exceptionally small”, but not before complaining that the KSA failed to inform them of concerns, which would have led to sooner action being taken on their behalf. 1xBet are less than enthusiastic about the fine, but they are appealing the penalty in the hope that they don’t find their names on the operator exclusion list, which would see them unable to bid for licenses under the country’s recent liberalised online gambling market.
Previously, Betsson found themselves in the spotlight and have long appealed to the KSA on the penalty awarded, but all attempts at a reconciliation have fallen on deaf ears. Just last week, the Hague upheld a cease and desist order brought forward by the KSA relating to Betsson’s subsidiary, the Malta-based Content Publishing Limited. In 2015, the order stated that Content Publishing Limited were advertising illegally through text messages which promoted gambling, but the company refuted this with claims the promotional distributing was merely ‘editorial information.’ René Jansen, KSA chairman welcomed the ruling for establishing the precedent that “publishing a promotional text is seen as advertising.” Speaking to Swedish media outlet Di.se, Pontus Lindwall, Betsson CEO, said the legal setback wasn’t a worry for him, despite the company now being part of the inclusion list.