The European Union and the Scandinavian countries saw a surge in online gambling growth in 2018, but the shadow gambling market is also actively developing in these countries. There are hundreds of offshore gambling sites that do great business and cause significant financial damage to the legal gambling market.
Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the regulator of the Dutch gambling market, stepped up its efforts in 2018 to clean up the illegal online gambling industry and confirmed that it had issued record fines of € 1.7 million.
To get an idea of how much the illegal online gambling business has grown in the Netherlands, one can compare the fines issued by the KSA over the past three years. In 2016, the total amount of fines issued by this gambling regulator was about € 250,000.This amount increased significantly in 2017, reaching € 1 million.These fines continued to rise in 2018, KSA confirmed that just over € 1.7 million in the form of fines were issued to illegal operators of online gambling. Most of these fines were imposed on five operators. Operators who were fined – William Hill, Bet-at-Home, Mr. Green, CyberRock / Honeydew and Betsson.
While the amount of € 1.7m in fines issued by KSA in the Netherlands is impressive, it is still very small compared to the € 30m in fines imposed on illegal UK gambling operators by the United Kingdom Commission (UKGC).