Casinos for youWill LCS further retaliate and oppose the hefty fine of €2.1 million after a year of ongoing trial and cease to promote the unlicensed platform, or will they bite the bullet and play by the rules?
The Dutch gambling regulator, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has reached a verdict against MGA-licensed LCS after illegally advertising online gambling without the proper licence. The monetary fine and ruling should come as no surprise to the Malta-based company as Dutch gambling laws are ‘set in stone’ after legalising online gambling in 2021.
In August 2022, LCS promoted gaming through an MGA-licenced iGaming affiliate website and now faces serious fines after breaking the law by promoting a non-Dutch licenced site to locals.
The chairman of KSA, Rene Jansen, made this comment a year after the offence and before the verdict was decided:Quote
“An order subject to penalty is an often very effective method to stop illegal supply immediately; however, illegal providers who subsequently go black should not think that they have ‘bought off’ their illegal activities: the previously committed violations can also be punished. In addition, we continue to carry out re-checks to verify whether the supply has been and will continue to be discontinued.”
The KSA’s initial fine was a whopping €165,000, as well as an order to cease and discontinue from offering unlicensed gambling. However, after a year-long trial, the final fine has been set at a whopping €2.1 million.
For the last year, an investigation has been ongoing where Authorities found the platform was accessible using a Dutch IP address and that there was no age verification requested during the registration process.
The website included the Netherlands in its dropdown menu of available countries and did not include the Netherlands in its list of non-available countries. Here, several opportunities were available to exclude the Netherlands from this platform, yet it was promoted as a legal country to access and play.
After the fine was released and a cease order requested, Dutch Authorities reported that Dutch players could no longer access the site.
During their trial, the LCS pleaded that Dutch players could not access the platform. Their dispute was on the grounds that the site used to track players accessing it from around the world, Similarweb, does not produce an accurate number of people who accessed the site for the purpose of gambling.
The initial penalty of €165,000 was paid in August of 2022. This, together with the cease order to exclude or allow access to players in the Netherlands, has successfully been covered.
The MGA-licenced provider still owes its painful €2.1Million fine, based on the 8% estimated turnover from operators in the Netherlands. Rene Jansen and the board of KSA agree to this fine as this is an appropriate amount lost to local operators during the ongoing activity of illegal operations.
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