Gibraltar Licence for Boldplay

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Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Dutch gambling regulator, has fined Shark77, a Malta-licensed operator in the Netherlands, for operating there without the appropriate licence.

Shark77, also located in Malta, was fined EUR900,000. If the operator doesn’t have the necessary approval, this is illegal under the Betting and Gaming Act.

KSA began investigating Shark77 in December 2021. It then followed up with additional probes in January, February and last year. KSA discovered that Shark77 offered both online casino and sports betting on its site.

According to the regulator, there were no technical restrictions that would prevent Dutch players accessing these offers. Site was accessible through a Dutch IP. However, the Netherlands was listed as a country option when creating an account.

Shark77, after being contacted by KSA, denied that it was targeting the Dutch market. It stated that it was selling games according to the Malta Gaming Authority’s licence and that KSA shouldn’t impose a penalty.

KSA stated that Shark77 had violated Dutch rules by offering gaming. It also said that although it was licensed in Malta, it was not sufficient to permit Dutch customers access to its gaming. The company was operating illegally in the country.

KSA reiterated that there are no procedures to prevent Dutch players accessing the site, and added that users could deposit or withdraw directly from Dutch bank accounts.

KSA stated that Shark77’s counter arguments were not valid and there was no basis to waive a penalty. KSA ordered operator to pay EUR900,000.

“Licensed providers of online gaming of chance have lower costs than illegal providers. Illegal providers don’t have to pay tax in the Netherlands and can still operate their businesses according to the Betting and Gaming Act and associated licensing regulations. KSA stated that illegal providers can offer a new offer, such as games of chance not permitted for license holders.

These providers could have an attractive effect upon players and jeopardise channelling to the legal offer. This is a serious matter and we find it highly unacceptable. Rene Jansen, chairman of KSA, stated that Dutch players should be protected by licensed providers such as the Gaming Authority.

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