On October 30, the Netherlands’ gambling watchdog, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), issued a fine of €6.7m to casino operator GoldWin Limited for accepting players from the Netherlands despite not having a Dutch gambling license. According to the KSA’s allegations, GoldWin’s WestCasino.com did not have the necessary measures in place to prevent Dutch players from accessing the website. WestCasino.com was also accused of failing to verify the age of Dutch players. The amount of the fine is based on an estimation of GoldWin’s turnover from Netherlands-based clients, according to which the operator must pay 7% of the estimated €230.2 turnover per visit of Dutch origin.
GoldWin has been under investigation by the KSA since December 2022, when KSA inspectors found that they were able to register and play games of chance at GoldWin’s WestCasino.com. According to the KSA, the operator’s website had been visited by Dutch-based gamblers 843,132 times in 2022.
January 2023 saw GoldWin being warned by the KSA to cease accepting players from the Netherlands illegally and that failure to comply would result in penalties. In another investigation, this time dated March 2, 2023, Dutch regulators found that GoldWin had not obeyed the KSA, and ordinary Dutch players could still access WestCasino.com. This warranted GoldWin receiving a financial penalty, but once again, the operator refused to abide by the KSA’s orders.
The KSA is Among the Strictest Regulators in the iGaming Sphere
Since the official legalization of online gambling in the Netherlands in 2021, the KSA has gained a reputation for being among the harshest gambling regulators when it comes to online gambling. Operators are required to apply for and acquire a license from the country’s regulatory watchdog if they plan on entering the Dutch online gaming market. Failure to do so results in gambling companies facing heavy consequences.
Many online operators have come under scrutiny for not complying with the KSA’s rules. In the watchdog’s annual financial report for the year 2022, released this March, it was shown that the KSA had fined operators with €29m in total over the course of 2022.
As for 2023, GoldWin Limited is not the only operator to have faced repercussions for not complying with the Netherlands’ gambling regulator. October 30 also saw MKC Limited receiving a hefty fine of €900,000. MKC Limited’s infringements had to do with the operator not preventing Dutch gamblers from wagering on the website BetWorld247. The online casino in question does not have a KSA license. Similar to GoldWin’s case, the investigation surrounding MKC began in 2022.
Another operator to face a financial penalty from the KSA this October was LCS Limited. The company was ordered to pay €2.1m, and just like GoldWin Limited and MKC, the penalty had to do with the gambling company offering bets to players from the Netherlands without having acquired the necessary licensing. Finally, gambling operator Blue High House received a KSA-issued cease and desist order in October. The company’s violations were tied to its Betonline.ag website.