Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) the Netherlands gambling regulator, has been notably more active in enforcing regulations during 2019, and that has been reflected in new figures released for the year.
The figures show that the regulatory issued a total of €3.5 million in fines against operators providing sports betting and gambling products during 2019. This represents doubling of the figure for 2018.
The increase is due partly to a significant rise in the number of operators being penalised, but the rise in the maximum fine for regulatory breaches to €200,000 has also been a factor, according to the KSA. The regulator confirmed that 10 operators have been fined during 2019, with one operator receiving multiple fines.
Currently, the only state-regulated gaming operator is Holland Casino, but it has become common for overseas betting companies to target Dutch customers in defiance of the law, through sites that offer Dutch language versions and enabling payments using online banking systems popular in the Netherlands, including Ideal, the Netherlands-only transaction method.
Earlier in the year, the Netherlands senate finally passed a law that would open the Netherlands online gambling sector to other operators, following a prolonged political debate. But the new regulations, which will not become effective until 2021 at the earlier, are notably stricter than many other European regulatory systems. They also contain a number of measures designed to target gambling addiction, along with a requirement on operators to pay 29% gambling tax and to ensure that they employ an expert on gambling addiction. In addition, any company that has been found to have broken the existing rules will not be able to apply for a licence in the new market without going through a cooling off period.