Mr Green, a William Hill-owned online gambling company, was recently fined for allowing Dutch players to play. Although it made its offerings available in the country, the operator is not licensed in the Netherlands. The company appealed to a court in The Hague for a reduction of its fine but to no avail.
Mr Green Tried to Appeal the Fine
The KSA, the Netherlands’ gambling authority, fined Mr Green $325,375 for taking bets by Dutch citizens. The fine was imposed in September 2018, after Mr Green was found guilty of taking illegal bets in 2017. The appeal for a reduction was dismissed as the court in The Hague agreed with the KSA that Mr Green’s actions were in breach of the regulations.
Mr Green’s initial fine sat at $156,000 but the KSA decided to increase it after reviewed the case in detail. Following that, the regulator decided that $325,375 is a more suitable fine, much to Mr Green’s dismay.
Mr Green claimed that it did not target Dutch citizens of purpose and it was all a misunderstanding. According to the operator, its offerings appeared in the Netherlands by mistake, which the company blamed on a faulty IP blocking system.
Additionally, Mr Green disagreed with the fine and claimed that the KSA was in the wrong for publically disclosing information about it. The gambling company said that the transparency would damage its business by tarnishing its reputation.
Lastly, the operator insisted that the fine increase was not justified. It claimed that the KSA should have not increased the fine as much as it did.
The Judges Ruled in Favor of the KSA
The Hague judges reviewed the case. In the end, they decided that Mr Green was ultimately in the wrong and that the KSA was in its right to fine the operator. Furthermore, the court agreed that the gambling company’s transgressions were serious and called for intervention.
The judges also ruled that Mr Green did not back its reputational damage claims with any facts. On the contrary, Mr Green’s business did not appear to suffer any damage because of the lawsuit. Because of that, the judges decided to dismiss this appeal. They concluded:
Respondent (the KSA) could therefore reasonably allow the importance of transparency and the provision of information to outweigh the interest of the claimant (Mr Green) in the absence of reputational damage.Court ruling on Mr Green and KSA’s case
This isn’t the only recent instance where Mr Green was incompliant with regulations. A few months ago, the Malta-based operator was scolded by the Danish regulator for not being diligent when it comes to preventing money laundering.