William Hill will appeal against a €300,000 fine issued by the Netherlands Gambling Authority (KSA) for targeting players in the country without an iGaming licence.
The regulator penalised the bookmaker for offering online games of chance to Dutch consumers via its WilliamHill.com website and two mobile applications. Online gambling is currently prohibited in the Netherlands, with a bill to re-regulate the market currently stalled in the country’s legislature.
Consumers had been able to play casino games such as blackjack, roulette and poker, as well as betting on sports.
In its ruling, the KSA noted that customers had the option to translate the site into Dutch, as well as offering the iDEAL online payment solution for processing deposits and withdrawals. iDEAL is only available to those with a Netherlands bank account, and is by far the country’s most widely-used online payment solution.
However, a William Hill spokesperson has said that the bookmaker will “definitely be appealing against the fine”, having been that the KSA was preparing to impose a penalty weeks in advance.
Speaking on behalf of the KSA, René Jansen, chairman of the executive board at the regulator, said the fine represents its ongoing effort to protect consumers in the Netherlands from unregulated activities.
“A player who gambles with an illegal provider does without any protection; there is no supervision so it is impossible to ensure these companies are conducting business fairly, and that is why the KSA acts against illegal providers,” Jansen said.
“Protecting the consumer is an important objective of the KSA, in addition to preventing gambling addiction and combating illegality.”