N1 Interactive was fined by the Dutch Gambling Authority (KSA) last week, with the regulator insisting that the operator had breached gambling laws and issuing a record penalty to the tune of €12.64m. The penalty was issued as part of an enforcement action against five entities that the regulator contended had offered games of chance to Dutch citizens without the necessary permit.
Videoslots Limited was fined €9.87m with the two companies bearing the brunt of the €26m in fines issued by the regulator. Both companies have responded that they will contest the decision in courts and seek to remedy a penalty that is "baseless" and incorrect," as cited by CasinoBeats, an industry media.
N1 Interactive stated that it disagrees with the amount the regulator had issued and further added that the manner in which the KSA had handled the case was not ideal. The alleged violations that the KSA stipulated in the penalty go well against the grain of N1 Interactive’s active efforts to curb access of players to its properties, which the company claims it has done successfully.
N1 Interactive confirmed that it had taken several safeguards to prevent Dutch players from accessing its website. The company further argued that the penalty issued by the regulator was disproportionately high given the nature of the alleged offense and added that the penalty did not track with current gambling laws in the Netherlands.
Furthermore, the manner in which the penalty was calculated appeared wrong. N1 Interactive took another issue with the regulator, arguing that a request to not make the penalty public while proceedings were ongoing was not honored. The penalty is still going to be disputed in its current form, the company says.
N1 Interactive noted that the KSA actions had caused consternation to the company, both in terms of administrative and judicial proceedings. Having failed to convince the KSA to take another course of action, the company is now looking to the courts for help.
"Nevertheless, N1 strongly believes that the court can consider and evaluate the company’s arguments in a fair and transparent manner to reach a decision that is based on the legal standing of the matter," a quote from the company reads in several media outlets.
N1 Interactive is looking forward to a fair decision and has confirmed that the company meets all of its responsible gambling, tax, data protection, and anti-money laundering obligations. Other companies that were fined by the regulator as part of the same enforcement action include Betpoint Group Limited (€1.78m), Probe Investment Limited (€1.12m), and Fairload Limited (€900,000).
Videoslots posted a similarly critical account of the events and the way the KSA had conducted itself in establishing that there was a breach in the first place. According to Videoslots Deputy Chief Executive Ulle Skottling, the KSA had tried to gain unauthorized access but was successfully blocked.
However, the regulator continued to poke at the website until it succeeded by feigning that the representative was a German player instead. "It is absurd that the KSA should fine us after gaining unauthorized access. It is simply not possible to protect fully against unauthorized access, and the KSA has no guidelines on what measures are sufficient," Skottling said in a highly critical comment on the regulator’s conduct.
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