KSA issues €600,000 in illegal gambling fines

Dutch gambling authority the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has fined Curacao-licensed operator Virtual Coin Gaming €500,000 (£450,000/$613,000) fine, in addition to a €100,000 penalty issued to an individual involved with that business.


The fines were issued after the operator was found to have offered illegal online games of chance via the websites www.futgalaxy.nl and nl.futgamer.com targeting Dutch customers.

The KSA said it had been established that minors, or at least young adults, took part in the games of chance. Each was themed around Fifa Ultimate Team, a card game featured in EA Sports' Fifa video game series, that is banned in the Netherlands.

The regulator said that it prioritises enforcement action against unlicensed operators who specifically target Dutch consumers, as it said was the case with both of the websites in question.

This was made clear through the websites’ use of the Dutch language, the website extension dot.nl and use of the Dutch payment system iDEAL, it said.

The KSA pointed out that the Games of Chance Act, which stipulates that online gambling may only be offered if a licence has been granted, had been violated with the offer of various games of chance.

Online gaming is currently prohibited in the Netherlands, it said, and the current law does not make it possible to apply for an online gaming licence.

The law will change when the Remote Gambling Act comes into force in 2021, and online licences will be made available under strict conditions which will allow for supervision of operators and the provision of player protections.

The jurisdiction’s online gaming regulation is expected to come into force on 1 March this year, with the market allowed to launch on 1 September.

The regulation was originally scheduled for July 2020 but was subsequently delayed to 1 January, before another delay caused by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic saw the date pushed back to March.

Details of the licence application process were set out in October, including that operators must provide the regulator with its policies on a series of different issues, including integrity and addiction prevention.

In October, the regulator launched a consultation on the Netherlands’ player protection rules, including a ban on promotional bonuses and strict restrictions on advertising.