De Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) announced the enforcement action on 3 March. N1 was issued with a fine alongside four other operators – Videoslots, Betpoint, Probe Investments and Fairload Limited.
While the operators had been made aware of the fines in December, they opted to go to court in order to delay the publication of the fines. Despite this, a judge eventually ruled to reject the request.
According to KSA, N1 violated the provisions of the country’s Betting and Gaming Act which states that an operator is barred from offering games of chance without holding the requisite licence from the regulator. This was specifically in regard to the organisation’s Bobcasino.com online gambling platform.
N1 “categorically disagrees” with the KSA’s analysis of the situation and alleged violation of the law.
The operator argued that it had already taken several measures to prevent players from the Netherlands from accessing its online casino offerings.
In addition, the business disputed the fine’s total – which at €12.6m ranks as one of the largest fines ever issued by the regulator.
“Moreover, N1 feels that the KSA has adopted an incorrect and baseless calculation to determine the amount of the fine, making it disproportionately high, which contradicts the legal basis for levying and calculating a fine under Dutch law,” read N1’s statement.
KSA had said the total fine is the result of it being the second time the operator had been subject to enforcement action by the authority. N1 was fined €500,000 by the organisation in 2021 illegally offering gambling to Dutch users without a licence.
The fine is not final, as N1’s appeal is ongoing. N1 had asked the regulator to delay the publication of the decision for this reason, but this request was denied.
“At this stage N1 strongly believes that the KSA’s actions have exerted pressure on N1’s current standing in both the administrative as well as judicial proceedings,” said the igaming operator.
“N1 will bring forward evidence to appeal the fine and dispute its legitimacy and proportionality which is excessive, taking into consideration other sanctions imposed by the KSA on other operators in the past.”
N1 is not the only operator to dispute its fine. Prior to the publication of the fines, Videoslots said it would challenge the ruling in a release published on its website.
Videoslots was fined €9.8m by the authority for incorrectly displaying KSA’s logo for a short period on its website without having a Dutch licence.
Videoslots said that following this, the regulator attempted to sign up as a customer on Videoslots’ website but failed – however, it said that KSA managed to access the website after it pretended to be a German customer.
“Videoslots does not target but restrict the Netherlands, so the Dutch Gaming Act does not apply to its services,” Videoslots deputy chief executive Ulle Skottling said. “No Dutch players were able to access our site during the disputed period and there was no violation as a result.
“It is absurd that the KSA should fine us after gaining unauthorised access. It is simply not possible to protect fully against unauthorised access, and the KSA has no guidelines on what measures are sufficient.”