Dutch Anti-Fraud Agency Seizes €30m as part of Illegal Gambling and Money Laundering Investigation

Following a series of raids in the village of Usquert in Groningen province, the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) has seized €30m worth of money and real estate as part of an investigation into illegal gambling and money laundering.

According to regional broadcaster RTV Noord, the investigation targeted the activities of Seychelles-based operator and game developer Simbat Entertainment Systems Ltd.

Customers of Simbat were able to make use of special (0909) telephone numbers to deposit funds. Already in September 2017, the Dutch Consumer Protection and Competition Authority (ACM) withdrew thirteen 0909 telephone numbers that were in use by Simbat Entertainment Systems on the grounds of the Bibob (Probity Screening) Act.

In the past, several players complained that Simbat refuses to honor winning bets.

 

Temporary Gambling Tax Rate Increase “Unnecessary”

Since the Dutch government recorded a budget surplus of €11bn in 2018, the temporary increase in the country’s gambling tax rate from 29% to 30.1% to cover the €20m budget shortfall caused by the delays in implementing the Remote Gaming Bill was completely unnecessary and should be reversed as quickly as possible, said trade association VAN Kansspelen.

VAN chairman Frits Huffnagel called on the government to reintroduce the 29% gambling tax rate at the earliest possible opportunity, but “at the latest” by January 1, 2020.

 

Upcoming Events

The following events may be of interest to members of the GiH community.

  • Betting on Sports America is the largest sports betting conference & exhibition in the US, featuring 175 leading industry speakers across 40 sessions. The event is scheduled to take place 23 – 25 April, 2019 in New York/New Jersey.
  • GamblingCompliance Global Regulatory Awards 2019, which celebrate excellence in compliance and responsible gambling initiatives, will be awarded on 1 May, 2019 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in Central London. The event will be hosted by comedian and acclaimed actor Stephen Mangan.
  • Registration for this year’s Gaming in Holland Conference, taking place 5 – 6 June, 2019 in Amsterdam, is now open! Among this edition’s keynote speakers are Netherlands Gambling Authority chairman René Jansen, Holland Casino CEO Erwin van Lambaart, and – last but not least – investigative journalist, academic, and match-fixing expert Declan Hill.
  • 115+ speakers already confirmed their attendance at the World Gaming Executive Summit, 2 – 4 July, 2019 in Barcelona.
  • Betting on Sports 2019, the world’s largest sports betting conference & exhibition, will be held 17 – 20 September, 2019, in London. Betting on Sports 2019 will take place concurrently with CasinoBeats Summit 2019.
  • The International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) will hold its 2019 Annual Conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica from 30 September to 3 October 2019.
  • The Responsibility in Gaming Conference, taking place 23 – 24 October, 2019 in Brussels, will focus on what operators and regulators can and should do to create an effective and workable responsible gaming policy.

 

Netherlands Gambling Authority Issues €310k Fine to Malta-based Casumo Services Ltd

The Netherlands Gambling Authority has fined Malta-based online gaming operator Casumo €310,000 for illegally targeting consumers in the Netherlands.

An investigation by the Dutch regulator found that the operator allowed customers to pay through iDEAL, an online payment method which requires a Dutch bank account. The regulator also found that a live chat function on the website was responding to questions in Dutch.

As part of the operator’s registration process, customers were able to select “The Netherlands” as their country of residence.

Because the operator charges a monthly inactivity fee – which the Netherlands Gambling Authority considers an aggravating factor – the fine was increased from €260,000 to €310,000.

 

Other News

After having been signed by the King and responsible minister, the full text of the Remote Gaming Act has now been published, thus enacting the former bill into law.

 

The Netherlands Gambling Authority has seized dozens of so-called “Cash Centers,” which are suspected to function as illegal betting terminals, across the country.

 

Austrian Felix Schulze has won the World Poker Tour Deep Stacks Main Event at Holland Casino Amsterdam, taking home €104,304.

 

Holland Casino will once again support Maarten van der Weijden in his attempt to complete a 200km swim in order to raise funds for cancer research.

 

As part of a summer promotion, Jack’s Casino will allow some of its customers to play casino games at a height of 50 meters, looking out over some of the coolest spots in the Netherlands.

 

Compliance testing outfit Trisigma is looking to hire a Test Engineer.

 

German gambling regulation has a long way to go in order to catch up with the regulatory systems that are (about to be) implemented in the Netherlands and Belgium.

 

Meanwhile, anew report commissioned by German operator body the Deutsche Sportwettenverband (DSWV) has claimed that a turnover tax levied on betting shops by local authorities across the country contravenes federal law.

 

Sweden’s leading gambling trade associations Spelbranschens Riksförbund (SPER) and Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) have set out a new code of conduct for members to tackle concerns over excessive advertising in the newly-regulated market.

 

The Swedish Consumer Agency (KO) has added its voice to calls for a full legal definition of what constitutes “moderate” gambling advertising, ahead of a potential increase in advertising restrictions.

 

More than 30,000 people have now signed up to the Spelpaus.se Swedish self-exclusion register, according to national gambling regulator Spelinspektionen.

 

Products recently launched in high street bookmakers Paddy Power Betfair and BetFred have been pulled following a warning from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). The UKGC believes the new products would undermine the reduced maximum stakes on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from £100 to £2 that came into force this week.

 

Betsson has developed a series of customer support chatbots in partnership with AI-powered provider Ada, to streamline its customer service efforts.

 

Over the past couple of years, gambling addiction and problem gambling rates in Finland have continued to rise, according to a recent survey commissioned by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

 

Platform provider GAN has announced it is open to the possibility of a sale in its bid to maximize shareholder value.

 

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is to introduce a permanent ban on the sale, marketing or distribution of binary options to retail consumers.

 

Online gambling operator BetVictor has reached an agreement to reinstate and settle all ante post bets placed with now-closed BetBright, following its acquisition by 888 Holdings. Customers who want to make use of this offer will need to have a valid account with BetVictor.

 

Greek gambling operator OPAP’s 2018 revenue was up 6.3% year-on-year to €1.55b, earnings rose 15.4% to €353.6m and net profit improved 13.7% to €143.3m.

 

Spanish gambling regulatory authority DGOJ has released its new civic awareness campaign, warning national stakeholders of preventing under-age-gambling and potential sports corruption.