Dutch Gaming Authority Record Fine: Impact on Online Gambling Industry

Dutch Gaming Authority

This article was last updated on February 29, 2024

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A Landmark Decision from the Dutch Gaming Authority

The Dutch Gaming Authority has made a historic move by slapping a staggering fine of nearly 20 million euros on the gambling company Gammix. This record-breaking fine is the highest ever imposed in the industry. Gammix, a company rooted in Malta, has found itself on the wrong side of the law after allowing Dutch citizens to partake in games of chance via their websites without having the necessary license for operations. According to René Jansen, Ksa chairman, reckless providers like Gammix display minimal concern for their players, neglecting their care duties. The company did not enforce a robust age verification system, an oversight that can have damaging implications.

Calculating the Fine

In determining the size of the fine, the Ksa took into account the company’s estimated earnings from the Netherlands. The severe lack of age verification and the encouragement of excessive play through features such as autoplay were considered as aggravating factors. These aspects factored into the decision to impose the hefty fine.

Gammix’s Illegal Operations

Gammix has maintained multiple gambling websites where users could partake for a fee in games like poker, roulette, or access digital fruit machines. This blatant disregard for Dutch law had led to Gammix being threatened with a fine of nearly 4.5 million euros in 2022. When no improvements were made following this, the Ksa began collection proceedings. The company has since lodged an objection.

The Fight Against Unregulated Gambling

The Gaming Authority, in its mission to curb unregulated gambling, issued substantial fines to Maltese companies Goldwin LTD and MKC Limited, amounting to 6.7 million and 900,000 euros respectively in October last year. The companies were penalized for the same violation Gammix now finds itself paying for.

A Call for Stricter Regulations

Online gambling was legalized in the Netherlands in October 2021. This was a move to regulate the market, set guidelines for aftercare, and prevent Dutch gamblers from being lured into illegal foreign websites. The Dutch Gaming Authority has issued licenses to 27 companies, permitting them to provide online gambling services. However, those who lack this necessary permit must actively prevent Dutch citizens from accessing their website through measures such as IP blockades. In light of the prevailing situation, where many gamblers continue to face issues, the House of Representatives has urged outgoing Minister Weerwind for more stringent laws. These include the establishment of a playing limit applicable to all companies to discourage gamblers from hopping between websites. Firms should also be subject to tighter supervision to prevent gambling-related issues.

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