Illegal lotteries run by Dutch Facebook account shut down

  • Updated
  • By Max Jenner
Dutch Facebook lotteries
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A fake Facebook account responsible for promoting several illegal lotteries in the Netherlands has been taken down by the national regulatory body for gambling.

Investigations by the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) found that a fake account, whose name was changed on a regular basis, had been running several different lottery pages on Facebook.

Following its discovery, the KSA successfully pushed for the deletion of the account. This marks the first time that such action has been taken. Previously, only pages themselves had been removed, but in this case it was the account responsible for managing them which was deleted.

The KSA’s action may seem extreme, but it makes sense given the stringency of Dutch laws regarding gambling and lotteries. Only one operator, currently Lotto BV, is permitted to manage state lotteries in the country, with all other operations unlicensed and liable to fines. Court rulings in 2018 and in March this year upheld this monopoly system.

Recent months have seen several crackdowns by the KSA and police on illegal operations in the Netherlands. Earlier this month, Malta-based online casino Betchan was fined €500,000 for illegally offering services to Dutch players and two illegal lotteries operated via Instagram were shut down. In May, three illegal casinos were raided, leading to the arrest of two people for money laundering. 

Changes to the law are coming, however. The Remote Gambling Act, in force from April and due to be fully implemented in October, will allow licensed operators to offer online gambling platforms to the Dutch market. 28 applications from potential operators have been received.