The Netherlands has fined Tipico over illegal gambling as the operator may have been offering Dutch gambling products to citizens without a former authorization by the country’s regulator, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA). The country has issued several fines to what is considered illegitimate operators over the years, including brands such as Royal Panda, Leo Vegas, The Stars Group and 1xBet. Unibet and Betfair also butted heads with regulators in the country.
Dutch Regulators Fine Tipico in “Illegal Gambling” Case
Tipico was fined €530,000 ($621,000) just days before the final rollout of the legalized gambling industry in the country. According to the KSA, which opened an investigation in January 2020, Tipico remained accessible by citizens in the country and had the Netherlands as a viable point of registration in the signup form.
The regulator explained that Tipico had taken no measures to inform Dutch players that gambling from the Netherlands would be considered illegal as per domestic law, although the terms and services stated that the site is only available in countries where regulation permits gambling. Investigators were able to deposit in Dutch, the regulators explained, and said that they had native language menus to make the browsing process easier. The regulator also claims that in the space of a few months, some 5,000 transactions were processed in 2020.
Continuing to monitor the situation, the KSA made another effort to register with a Dutch IP and succeeded. According to the KSA, the operator may not have carried due diligence with regards to a customer’s age.
Tipico Denies All Wrongdoing
Tipico denied all wrongdoing at the time and responded in January of this year that its offering was in no way targeting the country or its players. The operator rejected claims by the operator that it had failed to verify customer age and reminded the regulator that no native payment methods popular to the Netherlands have been used to power its offer.
The KSA, though, has objected that its investigation only focused on companies that provably make their products available to Dutch citizens. In a similar vein, the regulator reminded Tipico that investigators had been able to read in Dutch when depositing and that there was a lack of evidence that Tipico verified all ages.
Authorities in the Netherlands have been keen on ensuring the safety of consumers. To this end, regulators have pooled efforts to ensure that every aspect of the gambling experience is safe.
There has been growing political pressure to stop tolerating “illegal operators.” Minister of Legal Protection Sander Dekker insisted that the country and regulators should take a much tougher stance on what Dutch law describes as rogue operators and issue fines to the tune of 4% of their turnover if found guilty. For its part, Tipico has denied all wrongdoing. The KSA issued fines earlier this year in January, penalizing two operators to the tune of $700,000.