Dutch Gambling Regulator KSA, Facebook Dethrone Illegal Bingo Operator Dordtse Queens

  • A KSA report on illegal bingo operator Dordtse Queens resulted in Facebook axing the group
  • Eight administrators operated the game and advertised it on their personal Facebook pages
  • KSA said the operating combination gave rise to “a spider web of illegal bingos”
  • If the turnover of an illegal operator is under Є15m, the standard fine is Є600,000 ($681,885)
bingo balls flying out of phone
Dutch gambling regulator KSA has gotten Facebook to remove a group operating illegal online bingo games. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Facebook removed group

A report by Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has resulted in Facebook removing a group on its platform that was operating illegal online bingo games.

The KSA shared news of the bingo takedown via Facebook on November 26:

The KSA named Dordtse Queens as the Facebook group behind the illicit games. The Dutch agency said that eight administrators operated Dordtse Queens and that the admins advertised the games on their own personal Facebook pages, which also allowed users the chance to play them.

The KSA stated that Facebook removed six pages that “were all affiliated in one way or another with Dordtse Queens.”

Spider web

In an official news release, the KSA said that the combination of Dordtse Queens and the offending personal pages linked to it gave rise to “a spider web of illegal bingos.” The Dutch gaming authority also added that it discovered that underage players could also take part in the games. In August, the KSA reported two illegal bingo pages, Luxury Bingo and Conviviality, to Facebook.

In the Netherlands, games of chance, including bingo, can only operate if the Dutch government has awarded the operator a license. Operators with purely commercial designs on the market can’t get licensed and, as with online lottery games, licensed operators must ensure 40% of their proceeds go to charity.

In November, the KSA announced that following 13 investigations into illegal lotteries on Facebook, the social media brand was collaborating with it to stamp out the illicit activities. A few months prior, KSA got Facebook to terminate an account that advertised illegal lotteries. KSA said it was the first time Facebook axed an entire account, rather than only the individual social media pages connected to it.

Playing hardball

Friday’s announcement reflects how the KSA has beefed up its enforcement policy since November 1. This followed the advent of the new Dutch Remote Gambling Act, which since October 1 allows licensed operators to offer games of chance like bingo and lotteries online.

Outfits licensed to operate in the Netherlands include Bet365, Playtech-partnered Holland Casino, GGPoker, and JOI Gaming Limited, which operates Jack’s Casino & Sports. Rather than risk heavy fines and more, several leading online brands have already withdrawn from the country including Entain, Betsson, Flutter, Kindred, 888, and Casumo. Earlier this month, Flutter revealed that its withdrawal from the Netherlands gambling scene could cost £50m ($68m).

it warned of its heavy new enforcement drive complete with heftier fines and stricter penalties

Putting its money where its mouth is, just a couple of weeks after it warned of its heavy new enforcement drive complete with heftier fines and stricter penalties, the KSA announced it was investigating 25 potentially illegal gambling websites.

According to the KSA, if the turnover of an entity operating illegally exceeds Є15m ($17m) then “the fine is related to the turnover and amounts to 4% thereof.” If the turnover of an illegal operator is unknown, the authority itself will estimate the amount. If the turnover is under Є15m, the standard fine is Є600,000 ($681,885).