Malta-licensed sports betting giant Tipico has been slapped with a €531,250 fine by the Dutch gambling regulator de Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), with the authority claiming that the company illegally offered its gambling services to Dutch customers only a week before the country’s iGaming market opens.
The sanction, announced on Friday, is the result of an extended investigation by the KSA dating back to early 2020, which concluded that the Malta-licensed operator’s website was accessible for Dutch IP addresses.
Additionally, the investigation found that the Netherlands was an option in several menus during the sign-up process.
The company did not explicitly say that players from the Netherlands may not use its products, though its terms and conditions did insist that players only use its services if the laws in their country allow them to do so.
Furthermore, the company was found to be offering multiple products that were not permitted in the Netherlands, including online casino and live sports betting.
A starting fine of €200,000 was imposed for this, and was then increased three times by €75,000: once for bonuses on offer and the large number of games and bets hosted, then again for the banned game formats, which “carry a higher addiction risk,” according to the KSA.
The fine was also increased because the age of players was not typically verified.
Follow-up investigation found no change in these areas, though the KSA now notes that Tipico’s website can no longer be reached using a Dutch IP address.
The sanction comes as the Netherlands prepares to open up to online gambling from Friday (1st October).
From this date, it will be possible to legally offer games of chance in the country with a licence from the KSA, which will announce the companies that have succeeded in obtaining a permit by the end of the month.
Accompanying this, the KSA has also announced that the fine for illegal offerings will be significantly increased.
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