Netherlands: First fine for online gambling company


For the first time ever the Dutch Gambling Authority has sanctioned an online gaming company. Globalstars, a gambling company based on Curacao (The Netherlands Antilles), was fined for 100.000 euros for offering online games of chance to the Dutch public.

In The Netherlands, online gambling is not yet subject to licensing. Although a licensing system for online gambling is currently in the making, so far it is not legally permitted  to offer online games of chance on the Dutch market.

Globalstars had three active domainnames (of which one had a .com extention and two with a .nl extention) and targeted to the Dutch market not only through their extentions, but also by using the Dutch language and using the online paying system iDeal that is only used in the Netherlands.

The fact that Globalstars is based in the Netherlands Antilles and has a legal permit for offering games of chance in Curacao, did not alter the fact that the Dutch market was targeted according to the Gambling Authority. Moreover, in 2012 Globalstars together with other online gambling companies were warned by the Gambling Authority not to use a .nl extension, not to use the Dutch language and not to have any advertising in Dutch media. As Globalstars did not take any adequate action, the Gambling Authority decided on fining Globalstars, thus giving a clear signal to the gambling industry and the public.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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