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KSA to fine Sarah Eternal €280,000 a week until it stops unlicensed offering

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The Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the gambling regulator in the Netherlands, has issued Sarah Eternal with a weekly fine of €280,000 (£240,866/$300,506) for operating without a licence.

Sarah Eternal has been offering games of chance on the CasinoSky.com website without holding the necessary licence. If Sarah Eternal fails to halt the violations, the KSA will fine the company three times, up to the maximum amount of €840,000.

KSA inspectors were able to go to the CasinoSky.com website, make a deposit and then bet illegally with Sarah Eternal. Subsequently, the regulator has imposed an order subject to penalty.

The KSA said: “The Netherlands has a regulated gaming market to better protect players.

“The KSA therefore takes tough action against illegal offers. Illegal supply is often quickly stopped with an order subject to a penalty.”

KSA’s Sarah Eternal sanctions follow vote to ban online slots

In April, the Netherlands’ house of representatives voted to ban “high-risk” online gambling, including slots. Additionally, the house voted in favour of a ban on targeted online gambling advertising.

Socialist party MP Michiel van Nispen put both motions forward. Additional motions for financial risk checks and identification for gambling were also passed.

Van Nispen believes the lack of control players have on the outcome of online slots is one of the key reasons why they should be banned. The motion to ban online slots passed with a majority of 79 votes.

Despite the house’s vote, it’ll now be down to the Netherlands’ minister for legal protection Franc Weerwind to review the law and decide whether to put the motions into effect.

The Netherlands brought in a law against untargeted advertising in July 2023. Mass-advertising through channels such as television, radio and written media were banned. Sports sponsorships were also banned, although there is currently a transitionary period ongoing for existing deals.

NOGA concerned over black market threat from online slot ban

In response to the potential online slot ban, the Netherlands Online Gambling Association (NOGA) warned that such measures could instead prove harmful for players by driving them towards the black market.

NOGA described the motions as “thoughtless and irresponsible”. It also advised Weerwind not to make any decisions that would be irreversible.

NOGA approximates that 90% of Netherlands gamblers play with onshore operators. However, it also states that the proposed advertising ban could confuse players as to the legality of their gambling.

NOGA director Peter-Paul de Goeij stated: “The house is trying to force a decision based on wrong figures, assumptions and unrealistic fears.

“Minister Weerwind has kept a cool head so far. We count on the outgoing cabinet and the cabinet to be formed to continue that sensible line and never jeopardise the protection of online players.”

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