Sunday, 20 October 2019

LeoVegas & Royal Panda Hit With Fines From Dutch Gambling Authority

LeoVegas Logo

LeoVegas Casino and Royal Panda have both been hit with fines from Dutch gambling authority Kansspelautoriteit (KSA).

LeoVegas and its subsidiary Royal Panda have been issued with fines totalling €750,000 (Around $827,000 or £657,623.82). The KSA ordered the fines to the casino operators for offering online gambling services to users based in the Netherlands with an authorised gambling license.

An investigation by the KSA found that both companies had not blocked their site from Dutch residents and allowed players to use Dutch payment method iDEAL for deposits and withdrawals. As a result of this, LeoVegas has been issued a €350,000 penalty and Royal Panda has been ordered to pay a fine of €400,000.

According to Gambling Insider, LeoVegas is considering appealing the fine with a spokesperson saying: “We are considering to submit an appeal while waiting for the regulatory reforms to enter into force and the remote gambling licensing process to commence. There is an ongoing consultation on secondary regulations and the KSA intends to publish further details on the license application process.”

Online gambling is currently prohibited in the Netherlands. However, the KSA will begin accepting gambling license applications in 2020 following the introduction of the Remote Gambling Bill earlier this year. Despite this, the online gambling market is not expected to fully launch until 2021.

The KSA’s Recent Fines

The news comes as the KSA continues to launch investigations into online casino operators and fine them for offering gambling services illegally in the country. Last month, PokerStars casino operator was issued a fine when the KSA discovered that it was offering poker gambling to players despite not possessing a license. Following a similar investigation to what was described above, PokerStars was ordered to pay a €400,000 fine.

In August, the Kindred Group was hit with a €470,000 fine by the KSA for similar reasons. Kindred’s website was offering gambling services to Dutch customers and allowed them to make payments with iDEAL. What’s more, the site also offered customer support services in Dutch.

Also in the same month, bookmaker Bwin received a €350,000 fine for once again offering gambling services to customers despite it being prohibited. Like its fellow fined operators, Bwin was reportedly allowing Dutch customers to make payments via iDEAL and failed to block the website from being accessed despite blocking residents from Portugal and the United States.