Dutch Authorities in Gambling Crackdown
Punitive actions from the Dutch gaming regulator is costing online gambling company MRG. Gaming Authority of the Netherlands is taking consistent disciplinary actions against unregulated gambling sites operated remotely in the country. The company was rebranded recently as MRG and runs Mr. Green Ltd, a subsidiary based and licensed in Malta. MRG announced in a press release that the subsidiary had been imposed a hefty 312,500 euro fine by the Dutch regulators for operating Mr Green Casino in the country without authorization.
MRG rival Betsson’s subsidiary gaming operator working in The Netherlands was fined 300,000 euros for a similar violation recently. In its press release, MRG said that its subsidiary follows all guidelines laid down by Netherlands regulator Kansspelautoriteit. It only failed to comply with IP blocking for Dutch customers which led to the penalty.
Kansspelautoriteit, on the other hand, suggests that the fine was imposed on July 17. Mr. Green sought reversal of the fine and brought the matter to court, leading to the delay in disclosure. Information about the fine was revealed only when the court upheld the authority’s decision. MGR has noted that it would appeal the matter further, claiming that several other companies block Dutch companies from its websites.
Rival company Betsson is also planning to appeal its fine. The company’s subsidiary Corona Ltd. owns and operates the Oranje Casino and Kroon Casino brands. If the appeal doesn’t provide positive results, it would also take the matter to court.
The two companies are the latest additions to a long list of gambling service operators charged by the Dutch regulators. Earlier this year, a German gambling operator bet-at-home was served a 400,000 euro fine for serving Dutch customers remotely. Several other companies have paid similar high fines over the years over similar charges. Ironically, fines could not be collected because the current gambling law doesn’t vest enough powers to the regulator.
The country’s market re-regulation process has progressed very slowly. According to some discussions in the Dutch Parliament, companies that have been fined by the Kansspelautoriteit previously, may not receive licenses whenever the re-regulation process ends. A court appeal, therefore, could be the only way for these companies to keep their hopes alive in the Dutch market.
Several opponents of the re-regulation suggest that the process will have a significant negative impact on player channelization as foreign companies will be licensed to operate in the country legally.