The Dutch Gambling Authority (KSA) has fined gambling operator LeoVegas and its subsidiary Royal Panda for illegally offering gambling services in the Netherlands. LeoVegas was fined €350,000 while Royal Panda was fined a bit more at €400,000.
The KSA investigated the sites and found that both were open to players in the Netherlands with a Dutch IP address. The sites also allowed players to use Dutch iDEAL payment with gameplay. In the Netherlands, online gaming is prohibited. However, applications for licensing are being accepted next year as the Dutch Senate has approved a Remote Gaming Bill allowing for licensed and regulated gaming.
In the Netherlands, a regulated online market is expected to start by 2021.
According to Gambling Insider…
LeoVegas is considering appealing the fine. A spokesperson for the company stated that they may submit an appeal while they wait for regulatory reforms to be enforced and the remote gambling licensing process begins.
LeoVegas and Royal Panda are not the first companies to be fined by the KSA. Going back to February, 1xBet was fined €400,000 for offering unlicensed gaming in the country. In September, The Stars Group was subject to fines. They also had to pay €400,000 after it was discovered that they were operating without a license in the Netherlands.
During an investigation, it was found that PokerStars.eu was accessed by around 33,000 Dutch players during a six-week time frame in the summer. The site reportedly allowed the iDEAL system and nearly 225,000 transactions were completed with that format.
The regulator called out PokerStars.eu for featuring links to local problem gambling programs. The operator responded by stating they only added the links at the advice of the regulator and they regret the addition is now being used against the domain.