Dutch regulator issues potential €280,000 weekly penalty to Sarah Eternal

The KSA has confirmed the Costa Rica-based company could face total fine of €840,000 after operating in the Netherlands without a licence
The post Dutch regulator issues potential €280,000 weekly penalty to Sarah Eternal first appeared on EGR Intel.  

The Netherlands Gaming Authority (KSA) has warned Sarah Eternal it faces weekly fines of €280,000 after operating the Casinosky.com brand in the country without a licence.

The imposed order means Sarah Eternal could make incremental weekly payments of €280,000 with a total maximum of €840,000 until the violation is ceased.

The operator has four weeks from the date of the decision, which was noted as 28 March, to make amends or face the punishment. The KSA has not confirmed if the operator has cooperated despite the four-week window having now closed.

The potential fine comes after the regulator launched an investigation on 1 August 2023 that concluded in February of this year.

As part of the probe, KSA investigators were able to visit Casinosky.com, create an account, deposit funds and participate in games of chance despite stating their location was the Netherlands.

In fact, when the supervisors entered a telephone number as part of the account set up, the Netherlands country code (+31) was already automatically inserted. 

The KSA investigation discovered that no technical measures had been taken to ensure participants from the Netherlands were unable to access the site.

Furthermore, when KSA supervisors went to make a deposit, they were redirected to a page where payments could be made from an account linked with a Dutch bank.

Having made a deposit of €20, the investigator was able to play the Dog House slot game and place bets of between €0.20 and €2 before adjusting the auto-play function to the minimum number of spins (10). 

The Dutch regulator informed Sarah Eternal via a letter in September that it intended to impose an order subject to penalty, but the notification was not addressed by the company.

The KSA then carried out another inspection on the website in December 2023, which concluded with identical findings to the one launched earlier in August.

Once again, supervisors were able to successfully log in to the original account created four months prior and play the same Dog House slot game.

When a third inspection in February 2024 produced identical findings, the KSA proceeded to investigate two other sites associated with Sarah Eternal in the shape of playboom24.com and paradiseplay.com.

Again, KSA staff were able to register, deposit and play an online casino game despite the sites not being licensed in the Netherlands.

The KSA said: “In addition to the fact that no technical measures have been taken to prevent participation from the Netherlands in games of chance, the supervisory authority has found other features which (viewed in conjunction) show that the website is (partly) aimed at the Dutch market.”

This targeting of the Dutch market, according to the regulator, manifested as English-speaking customer service agents, payment options including euros and website links to a .nl URL extension.

Additionally, the KSA also determined that Sarah Eternal’s ultimate owners are based in Costa Rica. The regulator cited a footer on the CasinoSky website that referred to the owner and licence holder of the platform.

Sarah Eternal does hold the right to appeal the regulator’s decision.

Elsewhere, last week, the KSA reprimanded two unnamed operators for violating the ban on using role models as part of advertising campaigns. 

One online sportsbook offered customers the chance to win a football shirt worn by a top-flight player while another used images of a famous actor to advertise an online gambling game.

In April, the KSA penalised Casbit Group after ruling the company was also operating in the Netherlands without a licence. 

The post Dutch regulator issues potential €280,000 weekly penalty to Sarah Eternal first appeared on EGR Intel.


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