Former Dutch Casino Owner to Pay $27M Penalty to Settle Illegal Online Casino Case

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Stijn Flapper made millions in profit with Amsterdams Casino and Sherriff Gaming in the past, and the Dutch Public Prosecution Service (PPS) is happy to take his money. A court has ordered him and a few others to pay restitution for money laundering and operating an illegal online casino.

Stijn Flapper (left) and Jules van Wijk in a photo shoot. Flapper faces penalties of millions of dollars in the Netherlands for running an illegal online gaming business. (Image: Knipselkrant)

The gambling boss earned a lot of money from illegal online casinos that operated in the Netherlands without a license from the Dutch Gaming Authority, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA, for its Dutch acronym). Brothers Michel and Maurice Gregoire, who also had a hand in the criminal activities with Flapper, will have to pay up, as well.

Others could find themselves in similar situations, too, as the PPS has now targeted another gaming entrepreneur in a separate case. The target in the second case, identified only as Jeroen, was allegedly the primary shareholder of Oranje Casino and Kroon Casino until their sale to Betsson in February 2014. Betsson put the two, respectively, under its Corona Winner and Loyal Casino brands, which it cut off from the Dutch market last year.

Swimming in Money

In December of last year, the PPS demanded millions from Flapper, as well as from the Gregoire brothers, during a trial in the court of Den Bosch. The claim amounts to a total of €23 million (US$27.1 million), and prosecutors want to collect the largest part of this from Flapper.

He will have to turn over €6.88 million (US$7.54 million), minus a court-approved deduction of around €689,000 (US$755,833). Another €4 million (US$4.38 million) will be billed to the company, of which Flapper was a director until the company went bankrupt.

The PPS wants to claim a total of €8.3 million (US$9.1 million) from the Gregoire brothers and, at €2.56 million (US$2.8 million), Maurice will pay a larger amount. The pair, together with 14 others, are part of an organized criminal group, according to the PPS. If the agency can corroborate those claims, it will seek another €3.5 million (US$4.1 million).

The PPS asserts that Flapper and the Gregoire brothers were owners of  Teletick BV, which served as the parent company for Amsterdams Casino and Sheriff Gaming. The PPS asserts that Teletick BV played an important role in the gambling ecosystem, turning over almost €30 million (US$32.91 million).

Because it was all ill-gotten gains, the PPS says, the company can’t keep the money it took in. The PPS wants at least €23 million (US$25.23 million) it says all came through illegal gambling.  

Flapper’s lawyer is trying to fight the claim but hasn’t had much luck so far. He argues that the PPS has no documentation to support the claim and, therefore, can’t prove how much money is involved.

More Penalties Coming

The case has been in the works for the past four years, and Flapper and the Gregoire brothers already received prison sentences. However, they continue to fight the system and have launched appeals to try to find sympathy.

In the meantime, the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration also filed a lawsuit against them. Because the activity was illegal, from a regulatory standpoint, Teletick BV didn’t pay any taxes.

Therefore, it violated tax law, which the Netherlands Supreme Court has upheld. As a result, Flapper and the others are responsible for another €13.5 million (US$14.81 million) in gambling tax.

The PPS isn’t releasing anything about the status of the other investigation into the man behind Oranje Casino and Kroon Casino. However, that doesn’t mean that nothing is happening behind the scenes. The trial of Flapper and the Gregoire brothers has taken a long time, and the PPS is still working on it.

The PPS suspects that since 2007, unlicensed online gaming operators have earned more than €250 million (US$274.25 million) in the Netherlands. Because the money is illegal, the operators resort to money laundering, but authorities are catching up.

During raids associated with the cases, authorities have seized goods worth over €100 million (US$109 million). These include cars, boats, homes, jewelry, art, and more.

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