A few days following the publication of a penalty and cease and desist notice directed at online sportsbook and casino BetOnline by the Dutch Gambling Regulator (KSA), the online casino opted to restrict access to Dutch players.
In an email sent to all registered customers in the Netherlands, BetOnline explicitly conveyed its policy of not accepting Dutch players, providing them with a grace period until November 15 to withdraw their remaining funds. Any pending bets would be annulled and refunded.
On Monday, the Gaming Authority (KSA) revealed that it had taken enforcement measures against an illicit online gambling provider. Blue High House SA, the parent company of BetOnline, incurred penalties as a result of its association with the illegal gambling entity. The regulator had consistently warned that playing on BetOnline from the Netherlands was prohibited and had urged the company to cease such operations. Since BetOnline failed to comply, they faced a weekly penalty of €43,000, capped at €129,000.
On Friday, it appears that the online casino has had a change of heart. Dutch BetOnline players were promptly notified via email that their accounts would be terminated:
“We have detected that your BetOnline account is registered in the Netherlands. Please be advised that, as per our Terms and Conditions, BetOnline does not accommodate customers from the Netherlands, and your account has been deactivated. Any pending wagers will be voided and refunded. You have until November 15, 2023, to withdraw your remaining funds.
Warm regards, The BetOnline Team.”
Furthermore, amendments have been made to the terms and conditions and the registration process. The Netherlands is now explicitly listed among the excluded countries in the general terms and conditions. Additionally, the registration form has been modified. Earlier this week, when accessing the website from the Netherlands, ‘Netherlands’ and the area code ‘+31’ were no longer automatically pre-filled. Nevertheless, they were still available as options in the lists of countries and area codes. This is no longer the case, signifying that Dutch players can no longer access BetOnline.
Players who maintain account balances with BetOnline have over three weeks to complete the withdrawal of their funds. However, they are immediately prohibited from engaging in any gambling activities on the platform as Dutch players. All outstanding bets will be canceled, and the respective amounts will be reimbursed to their accounts for withdrawal purposes.
The Penalty: KSA Sanctions on Blue High House
The Dutch regulatory authority further elaborated on its punitive actions against Blue High House. The KSA has delivered a Cease and Desist notice to the operator, stipulating that it must immediately cease offering games of chance to customers within the Netherlands unless possessing the requisite gaming license.
The penalty amount is set at €43,000 for each consecutive week that Blue House High persists in violating these gaming regulations, with a ceiling capped at a maximum of €129,000.
The gaming operator has been granted a two-week grace period, commencing on September 29th, by the KSA to adhere to the cease and desist directive, failing which the sanctions delineated in the official statement will be imposed.