Kansspelautoriteit, the entity that regulates gambling in the Netherlands, released a statement today announcing that it intends to start imposing financial penalties on the Winning Poker Network (WPN) if its websites continue to service customers from the Dutch market without proper authorization. Launched in 2001, the Costa Rica-based network encompasses several online poker rooms that mainly target players from the US market but also accept action from most other countries worldwide. Among those are the flagship site Americas Cardroom, Ya Poker, Black Chip Poker, PokerKing, and True Poker.
According to the official statement, the regulator first launched an investigation into the network’s operations in September 2022. It was established at the time that the WPN enabled Dutch players to participate in unauthorized games of chance via one of its subsidiary websites. Kansspelautoriteit subsequently held the network accountable and ordered it to immediately cease the unauthorized activities. The group seemingly complied and promised to block the access of Dutch customers.
The regulatory body recently decided to perform a recheck of the group’s operations and determined that the original website was indeed inaccessible from the country. However, it was established upon closer inspection that local players could easily register real-money accounts on one of the other websites associated with the network. In turn, this made it possible for Dutch registrants to illegally wager on gambling games through the website in question.
Kansspelautoriteit assures in its latest statement that it is firmly determined to continue rechecking since the provision of unauthorized games on behalf of WPN has not fully ceased. The regulatory body also issued a cease-and-desist order against the transgressor. The network will be subjected to periodic penalty fines of €25,000 ($26.907) per week for every week it continues to provide illegal games to local players. The financial penalty is capped at €75,000 ($80,811).
Kansspelautoriteit Slapped a 6-Figure Fine on Red Ridge Marketing Last Week
The Dutch regulator has been very active in the battle against unauthorized gambling this year. The news of the cease-and-desist order against WPN comes directly after Kansspelautoriteit slapped Red Ridge Marketing with a €675,000 ($727,300) fine. Last week, the Albanian-based online gambling affiliate was fined for promoting unauthorized gaming sites to Dutch customers, notwithstanding the regulator’s previous warning to cease these practices.
The regulatory body reported at the time that some of the affiliate websites associated with Red Ridge Marketing were publishing misleading information about offshore casinos that target the local market without holding a Dutch license. The affiliate sites in question (nederlandseonlinecasino.com and casinojager.com) marketed unlicensed casinos as a preferable alternative to locally authorized operators because the former offered plenty of bonuses and their games supported the autoplay feature, which is otherwise unavailable to Dutch players.
Additionally, Red Ridge’s affiliate sites also published information that suggested using offshore casinos could help problem gamblers dodge the local self-exclusion registry CRUKS. As a result of these flagrant violations, Red Ridge Marketing suffered an additional penalty of €375,000 on top of a base fine amounting to €300,000, for a total of €675,000.