SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Online gambling company Unibet has been find €470,000 by the Dutch gambling authority for explicitly targeting players in the Netherlands.
The site, which offered roulette, poker and sports betting services, included a Dutch chat service and players could pay using the Dutch online payment service Ideal, the authority said.
In addition, the Netherlands was not included in the terms and conditions’ list of countries where playing is banned. Earlier this month, the gambling authority handed down a €350,000 fine to Bwin for similarly breaking the law.
It too offered punters the opportunity to use Ideal as payment. Holland Casino is the Netherlands’ only state-regulated gambling establishment, but foreign firms widely flout the ban and continue to target Dutch punters.
Earlier this year the senate voted to open up the online gambling market to other companies after years of political tussle.
The new law is restrictive and contains a number of elements to try to combat addiction. Players have to register and state their limit and will be periodically reminded of the risk of addiction on screen.
The gambling firms will also have to appoint an addition expert and pay gambling taxes of 29%, which is one of the highest in Europe. However, firms which have broken the law by targeting Dutch players will only be allowed to apply for a licence after a cooling off period.
According to website Gambling Compliance, almost all the major European gambling groups have now been fined by the Dutch watchdog.