Categories: Gambling Laws

Dutch Gambling Regulator – Increased Online Gambling Penalties

Last week, the Netherlands made European gambling news by passing legislation to regulate their online gambling industry. For years, online gambling sites were operating here without a license or any oversight from the government. Now, online gambling penalties in the Netherlands for sites operating here illegally have increased.

Dutch lawmakers are making it clear that they’re cracking down on this industry. Foreign gambling sites are taking notice. So, when will this market finally open up?

Netherlands Legalizes Online Gambling

For many years, Dutch government officials had closed off their online gambling industry to foreign companies. Any online gambling sites that accepted Dutch players were considered illegal, yet the government had trouble implementing fines on these companies. A huge number of people in the Netherlands made wagers through various online gambling sites in Europe, despite the dubious legality to do so.

It seems that the government of the Netherlands finally decided to make a change. Despite their laws against it, Dutch citizens were still choosing to gamble online. The Dutch Senate passed the Remote Gambling Bill in mid-February.

That doesn’t mean the online gambling market here is now open to every company. The government here is still coming up with a set of regulations. Foreign gambling companies can begin applying for a license in 2020.

The Dutch online market will open in 2021. Gambling sites caught operating in the country before this time are going to have a very difficult time obtaining a license.

Online gambling penalties in the Netherlands are now higher than ever before. Will this have an impact on sites choosing to operate in this country?

What Are the New Online Gambling Penalties in the Netherlands?

Earlier this week, the Netherlands Gambling Authority hit 1xbet with a massive €400,000 fine for promoting to Dutch players without a license. This company was said to offer a Dutch-language option and didn’t geo-block players within the Netherlands. The huge fine was a surprise to some, yet the government has announced that any company operating illegally can expect the same.

Previously, online gambling penalties in the Netherlands for illegal companies were set at €150,000. This week, the government raised this to €200,000. Any sites hit with one of these fines will have trouble applying for a license to legally operate.

Dutch Gambling Authority Chairman Rene Jansen commented on this fine increase by stating, “the fines we used were not terrifying enough.” Lawmakers here want gambling sites to know that the market here is off-limits without a license.

There are now mandatory €75,000 fines for any sites caught offering live betting, claiming to be operating legally when they’re not, and imposing fees on inactive accounts. That seems to be “terrifying enough” to prevent illegal sites from operating here.

Future of Online Gambling in the Netherlands

Hope is high that the regulation of the online gambling industry in the Netherlands will be a good thing. Companies will soon have a way to operate here without facing any repercussions. As we mentioned earlier though, the market won’t open up for a couple of years.

The government here is busy coming up with restrictions for the market. They want to ensure problem gambling does not become widespread in the country. It’s likely that a number of gambling advertisement bans will be set before 2021.

All in all, the fact that the Netherlands is allowing online gambling is a good thing. The government will likely earn millions in revenue every year. Fans of gambling here will have access to many of the biggest and best sites in the world.

Online gambling penalties in the Netherlands are going up. Online gambling companies will need to ensure they abide by the laws in order to get into this market in the future. Let us know what you think about the fine increase in the comment section below!

Kevin Oldroyd

A longtime sports and gambling enthusiast, Kevin looks to present up-to-date and reliable information for readers. If he’s not writing, he’s probably watching MMA or playing blackjack.

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