Netherlands’ KSA Hits PokerStars with €400k Penalty

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Netherlands’ Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has imposed a fine of €400k on gambling operator The Stars Group (TSG) for allowing Dutch customers to gamble on the domain without a Dutch gambling license.

PokerStars had crossed a number of the regulatory red lines, including the ability to access the site from a Dutch IP address, the use of popular Dutch payment processor iDeal, offering service in the Dutch language and not including the Netherlands in the site’s list of excluded territories.

Over 33k Netherlands-based accounts had processed nearly 225k transactions with iDeal in just a six-week period last summer. Following interaction with the KSA regarding the probe, dropped iDeal as a payment option and eliminated its Dutch-language contact form this January.

The KSA also found fault with featuring links to two Netherlands-based problem gambling programs, which the regulator said was further evidence of the site’s catering to Dutch punters.

The timing of TSG’s penalty means the company will likely not be eligible to operate a Dutch-licensed site on January 1, 2021, the current target date for the launch of the Netherlands’ liberalised online gambling regime.