Global Stars, the Curacao based online gambling company, has been slapped with a EUR 100,000 fine from Dutch regulators for operating in the country without a valid license. With Dutch gambling laws restrictive, the Netherlands Gaming Authority stepped in for the first time to fine the operator of My Global Games.
It is the latest piece of gambling news to feed out of the Northern European country, after the recent draft bill published by Dutch lawmakers. The bill finally announced the liberalization of the gambling market in the country, with plans for a launch as soon as January 2015. That’s still a way off, though, and it seems that, in the meantime, the government agency will be clamping down on illegal online gaming.
While online casinos in the Netherlands aren’t technically illegal at the moment, there is no method for companies such as Global Stars to apply for a license, rendering any service illegal. This isn’t likely to change until the government has passed the new gambling bill at the earliest.
This EUR 100,000 fine may seem a bit steep, but it is only the tip of the iceberg as far as European casinos are concerned. With laws being inconsistent at best across the Union, operators are usually unsure of their position in some countries. This could be set to change with a vote due on closer EU co-operation on gambling, but with the speed of EU lawmaking, it could take a while to come into effect.
Either way this was a major slip up by Global Stars, and they have paid the price for their hasty entry into a country whose tight gambling laws clash with their liberal outlook elsewhere. This may mean other operators look elsewhere, limiting the chances Dutch gamblers have to play at online casinos in the near future.