At the end of last week, de Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) announced it had imposed a €4.4 million ($4.6 million) penalty against Gammix Limited after it discovered the operator had been providing its services without a license.
The incident was not an isolated one for the regulator in the country. Since the Remote Gambling Act (KOA) went into effect in the Netherlands on April 1, 2021, and one and a half years after the grand opening of the online gambling market took place, the KSA has been busy completing similar investigations into illegal online casino providers.
In 2022 alone, according to the KSA’s fresh report, the regulator investigated a total of 277 preliminary investigations into illegal online sites. The procedures also resulted in 26 investigations into illegal online providers.
KSA Looking Back to 2022 “with Mixed Feelings”
The regulator’s chairman René Jansen spoke about 2022, which was “the first full calendar year in which online games of chance were legally offered in the Netherlands.”
Jansen expressed mixed feelings regarding the evolution of things, explaining that while a lot of things were going well, there is still much room for improvement.
The chairman also spoke about the original timeline and political goal of the Koa Act, which was aimed at seeing a minimum of eight out of ten Dutch players choosing legal providers in the first three years after the KOA would go into effect.
At the moment, according to estimates, around 85% of online players currently gamble using legal providers in the Netherlands. While this was also valid to a large extent prior to the legalization of iGaming in the country, their gaming was done illegally.
Jansen added that over 36,000 Dutch citizens have asked for and received protection from the central exclusion register Cruks. The latter does not allow registered players to take part in high-risk games of chance online and at amusements and Holland Casino venues.
KSA Issued €29.7 Million ($31.4 Million) in Fines in 2022
Throughout 2022, the KSA put in place 18 intention orders that were subject to periodic penalty payments. In total, seven fines were issued for a total of €29.7 million ($31.4 million).
The regulator also received 83 notifications in relation to illegal gambling ads on social media, marking an important 71% drop compared to 2021’s numbers. Out of the 59 investigations that took place last year, the KSA discovered 16 cases of violations.
During the same year, the KSA received 27 applications for online licenses, from 42 requests registered in 2021. Three applications were rejected and seven were withdrawn as operators understood their applications would not progress.
This led to a total of 13 online gaming licenses being granted to operators eager to offer their services on the Dutch market in 2022.
The regulator also issued 45 permits for slot machine operations last year. The KSA completed 89 investigations into slot machines. Out of them, seven were denied and 26 were completed on an interim basis with no additional consequences for their operators.
The regulator that turned 10 years in 2022 also issued close to 47% fewer lottery licenses in 2022 compared to 2021, with only 24 licenses recorded for last year.
The regulator revoked five existing licenses for reasons that the KSA license holders labeled their lottery sales as disappointing.
The regulator periodically monitors which 100 gambling sites are visited most frequently by players from the Netherlands and acts whenever deemed necessary to combat illegal gambling.