MRG Slapped With 6 Digit Dutch Fine
Online gambling giant MRG, formerly known as Mr Green, recently revealed that it has become the newest target of the Dutch Gaming Authority’s (Kansspelautoriteit, or KSA) correctional actions against unregulated iGaming operations offered to local players.
In a press release on the matter, MRG highlighted that its Malta-licensed subsidiary, Mr Green Ltd, has received a hefty fine of €312,500 for targeting players in the Netherlands without the appropriate national licensing. The operator’s six-figure fine comes just shortly after a subsidiary of its competitor, Betsson, bore the brunt of a whopping €300,000 fine for similar transgressions.
Operator Fails to Block Local IPs
MRG’s press release also stated that its subsidiary has closely followed the rules for the provision of iGaming services in the Netherlands as dictated by the KSA, with just one exception. The firm went on to explain that it has not yet implemented IP blocking for Dutch players, which has been identified as the primary reason behind its fine.
A statement from the Dutch regulator has explained that the fine was imposed on July 17, 2018, but has remained private as MRG took the matter to court to seek a repeal of the regulator’s move. The Gaming Authority also mentioned that the court sided with it and not the online gaming brands, giving approval for the fine to be made public knowledge as well.
In its press release, MRG noted that it does plan to further appeal the matter, stating that it has not been the only operator to fail to block Dutch customers from its online and mobile sites.
Betsson Plans to Appeal Fine
In the meantime, Betsson has also decided to appeal its similarly hefty fine – and should this move not prove successful, it will refer the matter to court as well. The penalty was addressed to Corona Ltd, the Betsson-owned operator of Kroon Casino and Oranje Casino.
Earlier in 2018, the KSA imposed a €400,000 cash fine on the German gaming operator for targeting local customers. The regulator has also fined many other firms over the years for such violations of its laws, although it has not been able to collect them due to current national legislation, which has not supplied it with enough power to do so.
It is also essential to note that there has been an ongoing industry re-regulation process in the Netherlands, albeit a slow one. Based on Parliamentary discussions, there is a chance that previously-fined operators could forgo their ability to claim licenses from the regulator once they are made available.
This possibility has been mulled for years by the country’s lawmakers, and the potential move has gained as much support as it has opposition. Opponents note that it would have huge negative ramifications on the channelization of local players, once the re-regulated market allows foreign firms to operate under KSA licenses.