n 2022, during the month of September, the Dutch regulatory organization for gambling, De Kansspelautoriteit (Ksa), discovered that the Winning Poker Network (WPN), a prominent gaming network in the Netherlands, had breached its guidelines. The top online poker network was deemed accountable for permitting players to engage in unauthorized games of chance on one of its Netherlands-based websites.
The Ksa issued a warning to the Winning Poker Network, which pledged to discontinue the prohibited activity. Upon a subsequent inspection, the contentious operator’s website was no longer reachable from the Netherlands. However, the Ksa discovered that other WPN websites remained operational, providing a simple process for users to create accounts and participate in equally illegal games of chance, just like the original website.
Persistent Violations Lead to Penalty Enforcement
Due to the recurring breaches of Dutch gaming regulations, the gaming authority directed the Winning Poker Network to halt the practice, imposing a conditional fine order subject to regular inspections. In essence, should the poker operator be found providing unauthorized games of chance, they will face a penalty of 25,000 euros per week, up to a maximum of 75,000 euros for unlicensed activities.
Simultaneously, the Ksa continues to scrutinize all relevant iGaming operators for unlicensed operations. A recent fine of 675,000 euros levied on the Dutch iGaming company Ridge Marketing for promoting unlicensed online gambling is consistent with the regulator’s specific fines policy, which was revised in September 2021. The updated policy mandates the Ksa to oversee gaming turnover in the jurisdiction and impose financial penalties on any unlicensed or unauthorized practices of Dutch iGaming providers and operators.
Unauthorized Access to Content
This policy has recently resulted in fines for five major companies, totaling over 26 million euros for violating Ksa regulations. The primary reason for these financial penalties is the lack of proper permits allowing players to engage in online games of chance. According to the policy, such participation is deemed illegal by the regulator.
Compulsory Gaming License
Additional factors may contribute to the imposition of fines, such as the requirement for age verification to be prominently displayed throughout the iGaming network and misleading notifications suggesting that the party possesses a European license, among other things. As a result, the Dutch Gaming Authority strictly mandates obtaining a gaming license in order to provide online games of chance to customers.
The regulations are stringent, and the recent fines demonstrate their full enforcement. If the Winning Poker Network fails to secure the necessary license for the games of chance offered across its network, it will be the next operator to face the consequences of this policy.