The Dutch gambling regulator has hit two repeatedly offending illegal online gambling firms with hefty fines and cease and desist orders. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Cease and desist
Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has slapped cease and desist orders on two illegal gambling firms, while hitting them with collective fines of up to a maximum €65,000 ($77,177).
KSA took to Twitter on September 2 to share news of the order it imposed on the organizers of commercial online social media bingo channels Luxury Bingo and BSB Shop.
Both bingo lawbreakers were operating without licenses on social media networks. Luxury Bingo was operating in the Facebook space, where BSB Shop was also initially active before shifting to Discord, an instant messaging and community-centric platform.
Mark Zuckerberg’s firm has since removed Luxury Bingo’s page after a KSA report.
The KSA said both operators had committed previous offenses. Luxury Bingo, following having its knuckles rapped by the Dutch regulator, initially halted its Facebook activity. After a while, it unwisely resumed its illegal Facebook operation. Mark Zuckerberg’s firm has since removed Luxury Bingo’s page after a KSA report.
BSB Shop was a little more circumspect. It took heed when warned by the KSA of Facebook, where it hosted online lotteries on a page named “Silhouette cameo patronen & ideeën.” It soon found another outlet for its activities via Discord.
Named, shamed, and charged
According to a KSA news release, the gambling regulator charged Luxury Bingo with €3,000 ($3,561) per violation, up to a maximum fine of €30,000 ($35,614).
Under Dutch gaming laws, commercial games of chance such as lotteries must have a license to operate. The KSA states no permits get issued if there’s a commercial aspect to the games, plus at least 40% of proceeds must go to charity.
Despite all its camouflaging efforts, KSA hit BSB Shop with a charge of €7,000 ($8,311) per violation, rising to a maximum penalty of €35,000 ($41,555).
Not only are illegal gambling operators like the two recently charged being targeted by the KSA, it has also issued warnings to Dutch bettors dabbling in illicit online wagering. It appears the KSA is taking no prisoners ahead of the launch of the licensed online gambling market in the Netherlands on October 1.
KSA’s friend in Facebook
KSA struck up an alliance with Facebook in November 2020 precisely to weed out illegal lotteries of the “dipping” kind.
Dipping lotteries require entrants to pony up for drawings that supposedly have the chance of paying out in cash or prizes. As regulators don’t police the illegal sites, there’s no way of knowing if any form of prizes even exist.
The KSA-Facebook tag team is throwing some heavy punches. In July on the KSA’s prompting, Facebook counted out an account that advertised illegal lotteries.
At the time, the KSA stated that this was the first occasion Facebook removed an entire account, rather than just the individual social media pages attached to it.