Online Casino Operator Challenges Netherlands Gaming Regulator’s Big Fine
Posted on: March 9, 2023, 06:50h.
Last updated on: March 13, 2023, 05:24h.
Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Netherlands’ gaming regulator, recently went after five unlicensed gaming companies for operating in the country. Despite hefty fines, one offender is prepared to fight.
KSA announced recently that it plans to levy fines on Videoslots, N1 Interactive, Betpoint Group, Probe Investments, and Fairload. Videoslots and N1 received hefty fines of €9.9 million and €12.6 million (US$10.45 and $13.3 million), respectively.
The imposed fines depend on the companies’ turnover in the Netherlands. N1, a company out of Malta that operates several online gaming websites, called the punishment unfair and accused KSA of breaking the law. N1 is behind at least 12 online gaming platforms, including Wizebets Casino, Casinorex, Slothunter Casino, and others, according to its website.
The KSA had previously fined the company for operating in the country. However, the regulator says the company continues to offer services illegally. The recent, larger fines aim to discourage unlicensed operators to quit targeting the country, according to the KSA.
N1 Fights Back
In response to the fine, N1 claimed it wasn’t targeting Dutch gamers and that it took further measures to prevent access from the Netherlands. N1 has further argued that the KSA has overstepped its reach and attempted to persuade the regulator to hold off on confirming the fine.
An independent judicial panel must review KSA’s actions before they become final. The company plans on fighting the fine if it doesn’t find favor through the panel, further asserting that the amount isn’t proportionate to the alleged violations.
KSA first determined that N1 violated the Dutch Betting and Gaming Act in the middle of last year. In its explanation of the fine, the regulator states that it contacted the company, after which N1 made some changes to comply with Dutch laws.
N1 could face another problem. If it offered its services illegally, users may be able to sue the company to recuperate their losses.
The regulator specifically pointed out the website www.bobcasino.com, another of N1’s platforms, as operating illegally in the country. Since then, the company has shut off access.
However, as Casino.org confirmed, a simple VPN with a Dutch server allows anyone to access N1’s other gaming platforms. It allows account registration and entry into some sites without verification. This includes no attempt to verify the user’s location via phone or text.
N1, which also operates iGaming platforms with a Curacao license, has a questionable history regarding its operations. It’s behind www.aspire-global-casinos.com, playing on Aspire Global International’s position in the gaming industry.
It includes several references to the real Aspire Global on its website but deflects responsibility at the bottom of the page. It consists of a disclaimer, “aspire-global-casino.com is an independent website and is in no way related to the official Aspire Global International Ltd.”
Several of N1’s sites still specifically mention that they’re available in Dutch, even though they don’t have a license in the country. In addition, N1 admits that it accepts Norwegian Kroner as a form of payment and is available in Norwegian. This is despite not being able to offer its services there, either.
The “Contact Us” page provides an address hosted by Proton Mail. While the service is notably more secure than most, it also “allows its users to remain completely anonymous, requiring no personal information for sign-ups,” according to hosting company Kinsta.
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