Monday, 19 August 2019

Kindred Group Fined Over €400,000 By Netherlands Gambling Authority

Kindred Group Fine

The Kindred Group has been hit with a €470,000 fine from the Netherlands Gambling Authority Kansspelautoriteit (KSA).

The online casino operator’s Malta-based Trannel International Limited subsidiary received the fine today (August 19) for accepting bets from Dutch customers without a required gambling license. Trannel International, which is responsible for, was found by the KSA to have accepted bets without a license “at least for a period in the second half of 2018”.

According to KSA, the regulatory body investigated the firm between August 2019 and December 2018 and discovered that had offered games of chance to Dutch customers. Users were also able to use payment method iDEAL and interact with customer support agents in the Dutch language. Under the 1964 Gambling Act, offering games and accepting bets without a license is prohibited.

The country’s current betting and gambling law is unable to provide a license for online gambling. However, a new bill that passed in the Dutch Senate last February will allow for licenses from January 1st, 2012, and a number of casino operators have already lined up to apply for a valid gambling license. Until then, KSA has stated that all online gambling is illegal.

KSA’s Online Gambling Crackdown

The Kindred Group hasn’t been the only casino operator to have been affected by KSA’s crackdown on online gambling. Casumo was fined over €300,000 back in April for accepting Dutch bets and, more recently, Bwin was fined €350,000 for serving customers without a license.

Similarly to the Kindred Group, Bwin was found to have been accepting bets, using payment method iDEAL to process transactions and failed to block Dutch users from its website. The KSA investigated the firm in 2018 and found that while it had blocked customers from Portugal and the United States, Dutch users were still allowed to access the site freely.

We reported earlier this month that Bwin’s total fine consists of a double €150,000 base fine with an additional €50,000 over a Bwin policy which debited a fixed amount per month from inactive accounts, a policy KSA said was as an “unacceptable disadvantage for the consumer”.

Meanwhile, the UK Gambling Commission has also been tightening regulations within the United Kingdom. The organisation recently launched a 12-week consultation on the use of credit cards with online gambling and is expected to try to ban credit card usage at online casinos.

The Commission also introduced a series of new rules to better protect customers. The new policies will change how operators interact with customers, particularly those that are vulnerable. A report from the Independent this month also suggested that the Commission introduced new rules that require operators to oversee player spending and potentially stop them overspending.

More recently, a study found that the number of complaints about betting firms has increased by almost 5,000% since 2013 and the UK Gambling Commission has launched an investigation into seven bookmakers after they allowed a minor to place a £5 bet on the Royal Ascot.