In September 2022, De Kansspelautoriteit (Ksa), the Gaming Authority in the Netherlands, determined that one of the busiest Dutch gaming networks, Winning Poker Network (WPN), violated its rules. The regulator has held the leading online poker network accountable for allowing players to access the illegal games of chance on one of its websites in the Netherlands.
The Winning Poker Network was warned accordingly and promised the Ksa to cease the unauthorized practice. During the second check, the disputable operator’s website was no longer accessible from the Netherlands, but Ksa found out that other WPN websites were still active offering an easy procedure for creating accounts and getting involved in the equally illicit games of chance as the original website.
Repeated Violation Incurrs Penalty Enforcement:
The repeated violation of the Dutch gaming rules has been the grounds for the gaming authority to order Winning Poker Network to cease the practice, imposing a conditional fine order subject to periodic checks. In other words, if the poker operator is found to offer unauthorized games of chance, it will pay a 25,000 euros penalty per week with a maximum of 75,000 euros for unlicensed operations.
At the same time, Ksa continues to check all relevant iGaming operators for unlicensed operations. A recent fine of € 675,000 imposed on Dutch iGaming company Ridge Marketing for promoting unlicensed online gambling was in line with the regulator’s specific fines policy that was updated in September 2021. The updated policy obliges Ksa to monitor the gaming turnover in the jurisdiction and impose financial penalties on any unlicensed or unauthorized practice of the Dutch iGaming providers and operators.
Illegal Access to Content:
The policy has thus recently incurred fines to five major companies with the amount they had to pay for violating the Ksa rules having aggregated to more than 26 million euros. The main reason for the financial punishment is that the subject entities didn’t have a permit that would allow players to participate in online games of chance. Under the policy, any such participation is considered illegal by the regulator.
Mandatory Gaming License:
Other reasons may imply the fine, such as the age verification that has to be visibly displayed across the iGaming network, as well as notifications that may mislead that the party holds the European license, and alike. Therefore the Dutch Gaming Authority strictly requests the acquisition of a gaming license to be entitled to offer online games of chance to customers.
The rules are strict and the recent fines show that they are fully enforced. Winning Poker Network will be the next operator to acknowledge this policy if it fails to obtain the license for the games of chance offered across its network.