Dutch regulator fines PokerStars.eu

The gambling regulator from the Netherlands KSA has imposed a fine of €400k on TSG Interactive Gaming Europe Limited for offering online poker.

The gambling authority from the Netherlands, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has revealed that it has penalised TSG Interactive Gaming Europe Limited for offering online poker through the pokerstars.eu website.

KSA explained that it investigated the pokerstars.eu website in the second half of 2018. It found that TSG was offering online poker through that website without a licence, which is a violation of current regulations.

The regulator said that a number of issues showed that pokerstars.eu was targetting Dutch players. KSA said that consumers in the country were able to access the site and pay with the local payment method iDEAL. The site also featured a contact form in Dutch, and it also mentioned two Dutch organisations for addiction.

“The KSA fights illegal offering because under the current legal regime it isn’t possible to obtain an online gambling licence. This doesn’t protect the consumer: fair fame isn’t guaranteed, the KSA cannot check whether minors are banned and whether attention is paid to addiction prevention. This situation will change with the Remote Gambling Act. From 2021 it will be possible to offer online gambling under strict conditions with a licence.”

Currently, in the Netherlands, only Holland Casino can offer poker services at land-based locations. Poker is currently a game of chance in the country, and no other companies can offer such modality.

KSA to debate gaming regulations

KSA will hold a meeting for interested parties in The Hague on October 15. This is to discuss the risks regarding an increasing mix of gaming and gambling.

KSA believes that there is currently an increase in mixing games and games of chance. “This happens especially in the digital domain. Games and games of chance don’t always show up separated on the internet. Gambling is advertised on gambling websites and vice versa. Gambling elements pop up in games and typical casino games such as roulette appear as a game,” said the authority.

“There are risks to gambling, such as gambling addiction. Exposure to games of chance at a young age increases the risk of gambling addiction in later life. To be able to offer a game of chance a licence is necessary, for the provision of games not,” said KSA.