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The Netherlands Gaming Authority (KSA) has imposed a fine of €400k on sports betting operator Bingoal.

The Dutch subsidiary of the Brussels-founded bookmaker was fined after advertising online gambling services to young adults.

In Dutch gambling law, marketing to consumers aged between 18 and 24 is prohibited because they are considered a vulnerable group as their brains are still developing.

The KSA opened an investigation following a broadcast of the Dutch TV show Kassa, an investigative consumer news programme that first shed light on the issue.

The fine follows four previous penalties in the context of the same investigation, the most recent of which was handed down to Entain-owned BetCity.  

The KSA’s investigation into this issue has now completed, resulting in fines for a total of five online gambling firms for gambling advertising aimed at young people.

The Bingoal breaches occurred between October 2021 and March 2022.

The KSA found that Bingoal frequently sent marketing messages to promote Bingoal’s offerings and bonuses, including to young people.

In a letter of defence, Bingoal lawyers argued the messages were never “specifically aimed” at young adults and were considered as “general advertising” to all players.

It also said that a fine of €400k would provide an effective advantage for unlicensed operators and that the penalty fee should be lowered.

Bingoal has appealed the KSA’s decision.

This is the second major penalty for Bingoal this year after the Belgian operator was fined €350k in February for failing to check players against the Dutch self-exclusion register (Cruks).