Thursday, 8 August 2019

Bookmaker Bwin Fined €350,000 By Dutch Regulator For Serving Customers


Bookmaker Bwin has been fined €350,000 by a Dutch gambling regulator for serving customers without a gambling license.

The betting site, which is owned by GVC Holdings, was fined this week by Netherlands’ gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA). In a statement, KSA revealed that the bookmaker was offering gambling services to players based in the Netherlands without permission.

KSA stated that the bookmaker was found to have used Dutch payment service iDEAL to process transactions and had failed to block Dutch customers from its website. The regulatory body launched an investigation into the firm back in 2018 and found that while they blocked customers in Portugal and the United States, Dutch customers were still given access to the betting site.

During the firm’s investigation, a KSA employee based in the Netherlands registered at the website and made a deposit of €20 through iDeal. The team repeated the process in January this year and found that Bwin had made no changes to their website; Dutch users could still access, register, deposit and play.

Bwin argued that the site was given the “all clear” from KSL as long as they didn’t provide Dutch-language services or participated in Dutch advertising or printed media campaigns. Regardless, KSA imposed a €150,000 base fine which was doubled due to the number of gambling products offered on the site to Dutch customers.

The regulator then added an additional €50,000 over a Bwin policy which debited a fixed amount per month from inactive accounts. The regulator described the policy as an “unacceptable disadvantage for the consumer”.

Fines and Regulations

The news comes as countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, tighten the rules and regulations surrounding gambling. Last month, Ladbrokes Coral was fined £5.9 million by the UK Gambling Commission for failing to protect problem gamblers. Coincidentally, Ladbrokes Coral is owned by GVC, the same operator that owns Bwin.

Last week, the UK Gambling Commission announced that it would be investigating seven bookmakers’ gambling license after they allowed a minor to wager on the Royal Ascot. The bookmakers, which haven’t yet been named, will face regulatory action which can include fines.

Also in June, the UK Gambling Commission penalised four casino operators after anti-money laundering and safeguard failings. InTouch Games received a £2.2 million fine, Betit Operations was hit with a £1.4 million fine, MT SecureTrade was fined £700,000 and BestBet received a £230,972 penalty.