Gambling operator, Bingoal Nederland, has been fined €400,000 by the Gambling Authority in the Netherlands, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA).
The operator was found guilty of targeting individuals aged 18-24 through their advertising, an explicitly illicit practice in the Netherlands.
The Brussels-based operator was subject to an investigation launched by the KSA prompted by a Television Programme named Kassa had revealed that between October 2021 and March 2022, Bingoal had sent marketing messages to a demographic labelled “young adults”.
Article 2 of the Dutch Betting and Gaming Act (Bwrvk) forbids a licenced operator from directing marketing or promotional material at young adults, a regulation which was defended by the KSA when the fine was imposed.
That is not allowed, because young adults are a vulnerable target group. The brains of young people are still developing. As a result, they are extra susceptible to a gambling addiction.
In the published sanction decision, the KSA revealed that according to numerous sources, many licenced operators were still breaking the advertising rules, despite the reregulation of the online market which came into effect in October 2021.
More fines are set to be enacted with this the fifth punishable offence discovered through the KSA’s investigations which were launched subsequent to the amendments to the regulatory legislation.
Bingoal’s fine was deliberated on quite purposefully with several factors taken into account.
An administrative fine was where the discussion began as this would be duly just in lieu of the seriousness of the actual violation.
Next, the fact no attempt was made to halt or mitigate any of the messages, in the form of emails, from reaching young adults, despite having the knowledge and technology available to do so.
Bingoal did not deny having sent any of the promotional material in question, however, they did not admit wrongdoing as they explained that describing the messaging as “targeted” was inaccurate.
The operator even claimed that the regulator was actually partially to blame as the term itself was not clarified in the legislation.
A claim which was promptly dismissed by the KSA which stated that it is the responsibility of licensees to understand their licensing requirements.
The fine was then set at €350,000 for the breach of the regulation itself and an additional €50,000 for the prolonged nature of the offence.
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