Published On: Mon, Nov 5th, 2018

Dutch regulator fines Curacao online gambling operator with questionable reputation

Engelmindus-George-Praag-Carmanco-Curacao-Trust-Maatschappij-Bluemay-CyberluckTHE HAGUE, WILLEMSTAD - Another online gambling operator has incurred the wrath of Kansspelautoriteit, the regulatory body charged with monitoring the Netherlands’ gambling market. In a statement from earlier today, the regulator announced that it has imposed a €350,000 fine on Curaçao-licensed CyberRock Entertainment NV and Cyprus-based Honeydew Trading Limited for targeting Dutch gambling customers without being authorized to do so.

As mentioned earlier, CyberRock Entertainment is licensed in Curaçao. The company provides online gaming services across multiple jurisdictions and via multiple brands. CyberRock Entertainment is listed as the sole shareholder in Honeydew, an online gambling company based in Nicosia, Cyprus.

It is important to note that many of the gaming websites operated by CyberRock and its affiliate have been blacklisted or issued warnings by major online casino review websites after complaints from players over predatory behavior and inadequate response to issues.

Kansspelautoriteit said today that the two companies, through their multiple brands and most prominently through the Play2Win and Supreme Play casinos, have been targeting Dutch players, even though the provision of remote gambling services is illegal under current Dutch laws.

CyberRock and Honeydew have not been the first gambling operators to have been slapped hefty fines by the regulator over the past few months. Malta-based companies Betsson and MRG (parent company of Mr Green) have been among those penalized by Kansspelautoriteit for providing unlicensed gambling services. Betsson received a €300,000 fine in August, while Mr Green was fined €312,000 in mid-September.

Many Dutch Players Unaware of Legal Status of Online Gambling in the Netherlands

Commenting on the latest regulatory action against remote gambling operations, René Jansen, Chairman of Kansspelautoriteit’s Board of Directors, said that there are many Dutch people who do not know that online gambling is currently illegal in the country. As a result, they are gambling on unregulated websites, which exposes them to fraud and other related crimes. In addition, gambling on such websites makes it hard for Kansspelautoriteit and other competent bodies to monitor and assist vulnerable people, the regulator added.

The Dutch Gambling Authority has been extremely critical of the delayed re-regulation of the country’s gambling market. The so-called Remote Gambling Bill has been stuck in the Parliament for quite a while and it has been only this year that the Dutch Senate has begun discussions that are hoped to lead to its eventual passage. The piece of legislation was passed by the Lower House in the summer of 2016.

According to previous comments by Dutch lawmakers, the bill was expected to be passed and enforced by mid-2019. However, Dutch State Secretary Menno Snel has recently said that the new gambling law is likely to take effect in mid-2020. Mr. Snel made the prognosis as part of his responses to parliamentary questions related to the planned implementation of a higher tax on land-based gambling services. The new tax is, too, expected to take effect in mid-2020.

Photo: Carmanco trust boss George Praag and the anonymous Egaming license provider Cyberluck once again fined. This time for an illegal sublicense to CyberRock

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