Dutch Regulator Cracks Down on Illegal Land-Based Operations

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The Dutch Senate in session.

The Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has clamped down on a number of so-called “Cash Centers” intended for the purposes of collecting money from illegal gambling.

The Kansspelautoriteit Continues to Shut Down Illegal Gambling Operations

The Netherlands’ gambling regulator, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has stepped up its efforts in fighting illegal gambling in the country. The watchdog has recently put the crack on several so-called Cash Centers which have been part of illegal gambling operations.

The Dutch authorities have been regulating everything – from land-based venues, to online websites, to even something completely new called “skin betting”, which apparently leaves children and underage individuals susceptible to gambling.

So far, the KSA has been working on blocking the access of websites to the Netherlands and forcing ISPs to blacklist individual websites. The KSA even went after a number of respected brads, the likes of William Hill and Bet365, arguing that they owed the regulator money, the result of fines.

The latest move is a part of a broader move coordinated with the help of the Dutch Public Prosecution Service. By Cash Centers, the KSA means venues that have been conducting gambling activities without proper licensing.

The watchdog identified illegal gambling machines in various venues, including stores, tea houses, snack bars and other nondescript properties. Despite the announcement, the KSA and the Prosecutor’s Office refused to give up the names of properties and individuals involved in the running of the Cash Centers.

Individuals Continue to Run Illegal Businesses

There have been multiple reported cases across the Netherlands, including cases in Utrecht, The Hague, North Holland, Brabant and Limburg. The KSA and the Prosecutor’s Office began tightening their measures against these unauthorized businesses last year, with multiple sanctions and even arrests of suspects.

Meanwhile, there has been good news in the Netherlands insofar online gambling is concerned. The Senate decided to pass the Remote Gaming Act, which puts the country on a fast-track to introduce its own iGaming products.

However, Dutch authorities do not expect legal online gambling to take off for at least another few years. The KSA also has increased the fines it intends to charge culprits – especially those who act without authorization online.

In particular, the KSA has been going after established brands, such as Betfair and William Hill, claiming that the platforms had intentionally targeted Dutch customers by introducing language-specific interface and promotions.

Both Betfair and William Hill have responded by denying wrongdoing and readying to reciprocate any action from the KSA in court. In 2018, the KSA issued a record-high number of fines, particularly in terms of pure monetary value over the period.

With the latest clamp down on illegal gambling, the KSA continues to signal unauthorized operators that they will be caught sooner or later.

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