Unibet Accepts Fines Imposed By Dutch Gaming Regulator

Unibet Accepts Fines Imposed By Dutch Gaming Regulator December 18, 2019 December 18, 2019 Carolyn Dutton
 Industry December 18, 2019 by Carolyn Dutton

Unibet which is the flagship brand of the Kindred Group, has recently abandoned its legal protest opposing the fine that was imposed by Kansspelautoriteit, the gambling regulator in the Netherlands. 

The key consequence of this appeal withdrawal is that Unibet will now have to pay the fine which amounts to €470,000 ($524,612.12). Now that the appeal has been revoked, the company cannot lodge another appeal regarding the same fine. Market analysts believe that the fine has already been paid by Kindred Group or the company will end up paying the fine very soon. 

Unibet was sanctioned with the fine as a result of a number of violations. Unibet’s primary offense is the targeting of Dutch gamblers during the period of August to December of 2018, when the Netherlands should have been designated as a restricted territory. Dutch customers were able to access Unibet’s site, unibet.eu, and play online casino games as well as place sports bets.

Furthermore, Unibet allowed the use of iDEAL as a payment method especially favoured by the Dutch to facilitate deposits and cash outs on their site. This makes it very clear that Unibet deliberately targeted the Dutch market and the fact that they were offering Dutch customer support further shows that the company deliberately breached gaming regulations.

One possibility for Unibet’s abandonment of its appeal is that the firm plans to be one of the first operators to obtain a gaming license under the country’s Remote Gambling Act. The newly legalised gambling market in the Netherlands is expected to go live on January 1 of 2021. The online gaming market launch was later pushed back to the middle of 2021 because the Dutch government wanted to refine secondary legislation specific to online gambling.

Unibet Wants Dutch Gaming License 

The revised gambling regulations allow international online gambling firms to apply for a gaming license. Once approved, iGaming firms in the Netherlands will be able to start their operations by July 1, 2021.

The Remote Gambling Act states that gambling firms fined by Kansspelautoriteit will have a two-year time-out period before being allowed to apply for a license in the upcoming regulatory framework.

In February 2019, Unibet eliminated iDEAL as a payment option for its .eu site, effectively barring Dutch gamblers from using their platform. Their two-year time-out period will end in February 2021, after which Unibet can apply for a license to operate legally in the Netherlands.  

Carolyn is our legislation expert, with a background in law she is able to cover the current state of gambling around the world