Legislation News of the Week: KSA Imposes Fines Totaling €26 Million, EGBA Issues Updated AML Guidelines for European Online Operators to Follow

Multiple operators are to face €26 million in fines from KSA. EGBA releases new anti-money laundering guidelines for European online operators. In the meantime, Technavio predicts the global iGaming market to reach $150.5 billion by 2027. William Hill fines continue to plague 888. And Dutch regulator's fine challenged by N1 Gaming.

KSA to fine several operators €26 million in total

Five gambling businesses that operated in the Dutch online market without a license received notification of massive upcoming fines from de Kansspelautoriteit (KSA). According to the regulator, Fairload Limited, N1 Interactive, Probe Investments, Videoslots, and BetPoint Group were warned about the penalties in December 2022.

Instead of complying with all of KSA's requirements, the mentioned companies wanted to avoid reputational damage and went to court. They wanted information about such hefty fines to remain non-public.

However, the legal process in this case ended last week, and the court ruled that the operators' requests would not be accepted. So now these companies will have to pay all fines in full.

EGBA releases new AML guidelines for European online operators

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), based in Brussels and representing European iGaming operators, announced that it had developed new AML rules for them. The organization announced the implementation of new guidelines on March 6, and this decision will help it make a significant impact on money-laundering practices in Europe.

The association organized a consultation period last autumn to get feedback from national regulatory authorities, businessmen, and industry experts. Thanks to their significant contribution, European iGaming companies received guidelines that take into account both all relevant legislative changes and the latest AML technologies that exist at the moment.

Global iGaming market to grow by $150.5 billion according to Technavio

Technavio recently reported that the global online gambling industry is projected to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.03% starting from this year until 2027, reaching a total growth of $150.5 billion. The growth of the market will be primarily fueled by the rise of mobile gambling, the increasing popularity of betting on esports, and relaxed government regulations.

The report highlights mobile gambling as the main catalyst for market expansion. The decreasing average selling price (ASP) of smartphones and advancements in communication network infrastructure are driving an increase in smartphone penetration, making it easier and more convenient for players to enjoy casino games and esports on their mobile devices.

Despite these favorable conditions, there are still significant challenges to be addressed. User data security remains a significant concern, as most gaming websites lack an effective dispute resolution framework and transparency in cash reward disbursements. Additionally, there is a lack of fair and responsible casino play standards.

Another challenge identified by the report is the risk posed by cyber attackers and scammers. Offshore gambling websites are especially vulnerable to data breaches, as they often lack proper cyber-attack prevention systems.

Another 888 issue with fined William Hill

888, the gambling operator, may face a fine due to its subsidiary, William Hill’s regulatory breaches. In 2022, 888 acquired William Hill’s non-US assets, which affected its revenues and exposed it to potential fines. 

The UK Gambling Commission is investigating William Hill’s alleged violations of anti-money laundering and social responsibility protocols. It may fine the company over $18 million, with some estimates suggesting it could go up to almost $24 million. 

William Hill has been fined before for various failings, and almost lost its license in 2022, prompting changes to 888’s deal with Caesars. The British operator also faced a $100 000 fine for a regulatory complaint.

N1 to contest fine imposed by the Dutch regulator

The KSA, which monitors and regulates the gambling business in the Netherlands, has ordered the N1 operator to pay a fine of €12.6 million. However, the Malta-based company disagrees with the decision and believes that the case lacks sufficient evidence of its guilt.

While the Dutch watchdog informed the operator of the impending fine last December, N1 went to court to postpone the enforcement of the penalty. Despite the arguments presented, the court did not grant the company's request. But when it came to the mandatory payment of the fine, N1 categorically refused to do so and decided to go to court again to challenge the financial penalty.

The regulator claims that N1 provided online gambling services to players through the Bobcasino.com platform without the proper license, which is a direct violation of the Betting and Gaming Act established in the country.

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