Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Dutch Gaming Authority Fines PokerStars Casino Operator €400,000


PokerStars gambling website has been issued a €400,000 fine.

The Dutch Gaming Authority, known as Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has fined TSG Interactive Gaming Europe Limited, a subsidiary of the Stars Group, for offering poker through gambling site PokerStars.eu despite not possessing a license to do so.

In the Netherlands, a game where players can win money is only allowed when it possesses a license for the game. Unfortunately, the Dutch Gaming Authority has yet to introduce a licensing process.

According to reports, the Dutch Gaming Authority launched an investigation on PokerStars’ website and found that the site had been offering services to Dutch customers. The gambling site could be accessed in the Netherlands and customers could pay through Dutch payment methods. The KSA also discovered that the Netherlands wasn’t mentioned on a list of countries banned from accessing and playing on the website.

Gambling Regulations in The Netherlands

The news comes just one month after bookmaker Bwin, part of GVC Holdings, was fined €350,000 by the KSA for serving customers without a gambling license. Similarly to the PokerStars’ case, the KSA launched an investigation into the gambling site in 2018 and found that Bwin had been allowing customers to make payments through Dutch payment service iDEAL.

During the investigation, a KSA employee based in the Netherlands registered at the Bwin website and successfully made a deposit of €20 through iDEAL and then repeated the process in January this year, discovering that Bwin had made no changes to block Dutch customers.

Bwin was fined two €150,000 fines plus an additional €50,000 fine over a Bwin policy which debited a fixed amount of money per month from inactive accounts. The KSA called the policy an “unacceptable disadvantage for the consumer”.

Also last month, the KSA fined the Kindred Group €400,000 for accepting bets from Dutch customers without a gambling license. Once again, the KSA launched an investigation into the Kindred Group between December 2018 and August 2019. The firm discovered that Kindred’s Unibet website offered Dutch customers games of chance and allowed them to make payments through iDEAL.