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Gammix Limited has promised to fiercely contest a record €19.7m fine handed down by the Netherlands Gaming Authority (KSA).

The Dutch regulator made headlines yesterday (29 February) by announcing the penalty, which is the highest enforcement fee in KSA history.

Gammix has since described the fine as “outrageous and unsubstantiated” and has vowed to “fight on all fronts” until it receives an apology and a retraction.

The fine was imposed after Gammix – which does not possess a Netherlands licence – was adjudged to have allowed online gambling access for Dutch consumers.

The KSA said Gammix failed to take any action to block Dutch players despite previous warnings and an earlier €4.4m penalty.

It also stated that Gammix did not require age verification on sign-up – a claim the Malta-licensed casino operator disputes.

In a statement provided to NEXT.io, Gammix Limited director Phil Pearson described the age verification allegations as “categorically false and defamatory”.

“The KSA is issuing the largest fine in its short history by using falsified data, extreme inaccuracy, and highly suspect mathematics.”
Gammix Limited director Phil Pearson

Pearson said the company runs automated checks on sign-up, along with KYC checks in line with MGA licence guidelines, which are then audited.

Source of wealth and source of fund checks are also performed, according to Pearson, as well as AML checks where necessary.

“For a regulator to use this statement is incredibly scary for the industry,” he said.

“If a company is fully complying with rules and regulations but is called out in the press for allegedly not doing so, this is a clear abuse of power and a lack of understanding of what they are regulating,” he added.

Pearson alleges the KSA has been difficult to reach ever since the first threat of a fine was issued, with emails and postal queries left unanswered.

He insists that Gammix “categorically” does not target Dutch traffic and that Dutch IP addresses should be blocked via Cloudflare.

Mystery shopping

In its ruling, the KSA said an employee was able to create an account and register on Gammix sites from the Netherlands, before successfully depositing €10 and €20.

However, Gammix claims the account was actually set up from Luxembourg, which would constitute a breach of the operator’s terms and conditions.

“Therefore the KSA is issuing the largest fine in its short history by using falsified data, extreme inaccuracy, and highly suspect mathematics, just to decide that they want to make a statement on illegal gambling in their country,” said Pearson.

NEXT.io has not been able to verify these claims and has seen no evidence to suggest the KSA has falsified data.

The KSA has faced criticism for this “mystery shopper” style of regulatory enforcement, including in the previous record fine handed down to Malta-licensed Videoslots.

Pay per click

The KSA fine – which stands at exactly €19,679,000 – was calculated by estimating the operator’s turnover from Dutch consumers, which was adjudged to be €302.8m.

This was calculated using site visit statistics from SimilarWeb. The estimated turnover is also being challenged by Gammix as “unrealistic and incorrect”.

In response, the KSA said: “The Gaming Authority emphasises it is not obliged to determine the exact turnover of Gammix achieved in the Netherlands, nor the form or method it chooses to determine a proportional fine.

“Ultimately, what matters is that Gammix is imposed a fine that is in reasonable proportion to the violation.”

The KSA has vowed to take action against unlicensed operators in 2024, but it remains to be seen whether the regulator has the power to enforce the financial penalties.

Gammix, for example, does not intend to pay the fine and will appeal on all fronts.

“This fine is an absolute joke and we will contest this in every possible way, at every possible turn, and will only rest once we have the apology and retraction we are looking for,” said Pearson.

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