GVC, parent company of online poker room partypoker, has been hit with a €350,000 fine from the Dutch online gambling regulator for offering real money gambling in the Netherlands.
The decision could mean the operator faces a “cooling off” period when the licensing process in the Netherlands opens in 18 months times.
ElectraWorks limited, operating under the bwin.com domain, a GVC subsidiary, was fined by the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) for offering online gambling which, according to the regulator, “focused on Dutch customers.”
In August 2018, the KSA investigated the operator’s offer and found that a player connected from a Netherlands IP address could sign up, deposit, bet in the casino and place sports bets.
It noted that the player had to confirm they were not playing from a country where gambling was illegal. However, while the United States, Poland and Portugal were explicitly mentioned as prohibited countries, the Netherlands was not.
While these facets alone are enough to constitute illegal online gambling in the eye of the regulator, the fact remains that most of the world’s largest online casinos, sports books and poker rooms do not actively block players signing up from the Netherlands.
It appears that the reason why bwin.com was singled out for sanctions is the use of the iDEAL payment method, a very popular e-commerce payment system unique to the Netherlands.