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New lawsuits have been launched in the Netherlands against international gambling operators, including the Kindred Group, the parent company of Unibet. Following similar cases reported by CasinoScout.nl which involved Bwin and PokerStars. The Amsterdam courthouse will now focus on Unibet’s illegal activities before its return to the Netherlands in July 2023.

In the Unibet case, a Dutch individual has sued the Swedish gambling giant for a restitution of accumulated losses of €72,000 in the period between 2014 and 2018, when online gambling was not yet regulated in the country. Online gambling was only legalised in April 2021 with the first licenced operators entering the Dutch market in October 2021.

“Unibet neglected responsible gambling duties”

The case involving Unibet shares the same base as the cases of Bwin and PokerStars, undermining that the terms and conditions agreements between the players and gambling platforms operating without a Dutch licence need to be nullified. This argument pivots on the claim that Kindred not only facilitated illegal online gambling activities in the Netherlands but also neglected its responsibility to safeguard players from gambling addiction.

The testimony of the Dutch individual revealed alarming behavioural patterns, with the player telling the court that he deposited €6,000 in a one month, indicating a clear struggle with gambling addiction. Kindred, however, countered these claims, contending that appropriate measures were taken to limit the player’s gambling activities, including that of self-exclusion.

In August 2018, the player claimed he was able to control his gambling behaviour again leading to his return to the platform. A month after the player’s return to gambling, his losses totalled €6,000. Unibet cited the punter’s prior claim as reason for non-intervention.

Verdict within six weeks

Legal counsel Benzi Loonstein refutes Kindred’s claims that it did not target the Dutch gambling market, pointing out Unibet’s VIP services and promotions were adapted to Dutch players. Unibet on the other hand claims compliance with local rules, citing a temporary website closure whilst it applied for a local licence. Only after having obtained the required licence Unibet reopened its website in the Netherlands in July 2023.

The judge probed Kindred on its decision not to halt operations in the Netherlands before market regulation in 2021, to which Kindred maintained its position that such a move was considered unnecessary, given the absence of enforcement measures during that period. A verdict against the current market leader in the Dutch iGaming market is expected within six weeks.

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