Justices at the Hague District Court have ruled that the Dutch Gaming Authority (DGA), the Kansspelautoriteit was right to impose hefty six-figure fines on iGaming operators that it found to have breached Netherlands gambling laws.
The ruling came after three companies that had been previously fined by the DGA chose to take their grievances to court, hoping to get back the money that they had been charged.
Gibraltar-licensed ONISAC and Mansion Online Casino were fined a joint total of €150,000 in 2014, while Maltese company ComeOn Europe was fined €180,000 after regulators found that they had targeted Dutch players without being permitted to do so.
Court officials confirmed that the Kansspelautoriteit had been right to penalise the firms, as online gambling in the Netherlands is prohibited unless the respective operator holds a licence with the Kansspelautoriteit. Although it is currently impossible for international gambling operators to obtain a licence in the Netherlands as the country’s regulatory framework does not contain such a provision.
Earlier this year the Kansspelautoriteit confirmed that it would adopt a stricter approach to tackling illegal gaming operators, increasing the possible fines to a maximum of €820,000. In addition, last month it unveiled a new set of regulations prohibiting operators and affiliates from redirecting Dutch players from Netherlands web domains to international gambling sites, imposing fines on those operators who do not adhere to the new rules.
As a result of this a number of operators chose to leave the Dutch iGaming market voluntarily, rather than open themselves up to potential fines, with Royal Panda, PolderCasino and FortuinCasino sites all suspending Dutch operations.