The Dutch gambling regulator, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has published an announcement unveiling Blue High House, the operator of Betonline.ag, received a cease-and-desist notice for offering unauthorized gambling content in the Netherlands. The regulatory authority has warned the gambling services provider to discontinue its activity on the Dutch market. Failure to comply with this notice would result in weekly fines of €43,000, up to a maximum of €129,000.
The regulator revealed it had commenced its inspection of the company’s activities in December 2021. A month later, in January 2022, the authority conducted a second check. KSA’s officials involved in the investigations shared that they could create an account, fund it, and place wagers from the Netherlands. Although the operator did not hold a Dutch gambling license, there were no technical arrangements in place to hinder access from the country. Furthermore, the dropdown list of countries in the sign-up form included picking the Netherlands as a country of residence along with the country’s telephone code.
The Dutch gambling supervisory body revealed that more than a year and a half into the launch of its investigations, in August 2023, it was still possible to access the platform from the Netherlands. The website traffic analysis data indicated there were more than 136,000 visits from Dutch IP addresses, spanning a period from May 2022 to May 2023. Blue High House was given a deadline to respond until October 13, 2023, which it failed to observe.
As the regulator explained, its inspections were based on an analysis of the estimated number of visitors with a Dutch IP, among other things. The website traffic check of Blue High House indicated that the platform attracted a large number of Dutch players. The ensuing investigation confirmed the company offered unauthorized games of chance via several websites facing players based in the Netherlands. KSA’s announcement also revealed that the company could file an objection against the decision.
KSA’s First Full-Year Report Indicates a Record Amount of Fines
Earlier this year, in March 2023, the Dutch gambling regulator published its first full-year report since the regulation of the Dutch market took place in October 2021. According to it, the authority has issued a record EUR 29,7 million in fines, with the exclusion of orders subject to penalty.
This trend shows no indications of slowing down in 2023, with millions of Euros already generated from fines. The total volume of fines imposed by the Netherlands gambling authority for Q1 and Q2 of the current year exceeded EUR 10 million.
As already covered by SuperCasinoSites last week, the gambling authority imposed a fine of €2.07 million on L.C.S. Limited, which was also revealed to offer unlicensed gambling services in the Netherlands through its domain, Sonofslots.com. The company disclosed it would object to the regulator’s decision, arguing its estimated turnover was not an actual representation of the real figures.