Netherlands hits Entain-owned BetCity with €400k fine

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The regulator began its inquiry after a broadcast of investigative reporting television programme Kassa claimed that Betent sent advertising messages to users aged between 18 and 24 from October 2021 to March 2022.

The KSA said this was not permitted since young adults are a vulnerable target group. “The brains of young people are still developing,” said the regulator. “As a result, they are more susceptible to gambling addiction.”

Within the four-month period, the regulator found that Betent sent messages to for online games of chance on its site, without taking steps to prevent young people from seeing the ads.

The failings took place prior to Entain’s acquisition of the operator, which was first announced in June 2022.

Ongoing investigation

The fine is fourth in six months that the KSA have imposed in the same investigation into advertising targeted at young people. The KSA also fined Bet365-owned Hillside New Media Malta in March, JOI Gaming in January and Toto Online in November for similar breaches of the rules in relation to young people being exposed to advertising. The regulator set the penalty at €400,000 in all three cases.

“The law prohibits games of chance providers from targeting young adults with advertising,” said KSA chairman René Jansen. “The KSA monitors this closely and with these four sanctions it once again underlines how important it is that providers of games of chance respect the rules that are intended to protect vulnerable target groups.”  

While Betcity accepts the ruling, it found that the language set out in the regulations to be ambiguous. The business claimed in its ruling that the rules – which prohibit the targeting of young people by gambling ads – were not clear as what that meant in practice. Betcity welcomes the ruling for providing clarity in this the matter.

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