Global betting operator 1xBet has been slapped with a €400,000 (£344,200) fine by the Netherlands gambling regulator for illegal targeting of Dutch gamblers.
The Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) issued the fine for breaches of the Netherlands law on online gambling against 1X Corp., based in Curacao, which is responsible for operating the 1xBet.com site, along with Exinvest Limited and its xbet-1.com site, based in Cyprus.
In their ruling, the KSA said that both sites were available to Dutch players, and included a Dutch language option, despite neither site having a license to offer gambling products to players in the Netherlands. The two sites also made it possible for customers to place deposits into their accounts using iDeal payment system, which is only available to those with Dutch bank accounts.
Speaking about the ruling, the Chair of the KSA, Rene Jansen, emphasised that any operator currently offering gambling products to players in the Netherlands was breaking the law:
Online gambling in the Netherlands is illegal; under the current legal regime for companies it is not possible to get a licence for offering online games of chance.”
The ruling comes against a backdrop of widespread gambling by Dutch citizens. A survey conducted by Holland Casino found that roughly 1.8 million citizens in the country had wagered with illegal online sites. And that legal position is also set to change in the next few months, when the long-debated Remote Gambling Act is put into effect. Earlier this month, the Act was finally passed by the Netherlands Senate, following a prolonged period of debate, having originally passed the lower house of the Dutch parliament back in 2016. The Act is expected to lead to a fully-regulated online gambling industry in the Netherlands, with the first licenses likely to be issued in the middle of 2020.
Andie Hughes is a UK-based freelance betting and gambling writer with over a decade of experience in the industry, having written for Betfair, ESPN, Boylesports, Sporting Life and various other popular betting sites. Contact Andie at firstname.lastname@example.org.