Merkur Casino sanctioned over compliance shortcomings

KSA, Netherlands, BetCity

The Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has issued a €45,000 fine against Merkur Casino after a self-excluded customer entered one of its venues and placed bets.

According to a statement from the authority, the customer visited the Merkur Casino in the city of Almere nine times despite being registered on the nationwide Central Register of Exclusion of Games of Chance (Cruks).

The customer gained entry to the premises between 17 February 2022 and 2 March 2022. During these visits, casino employees checked Cruks data but received an error message, and so were unable to verify whether the bettor was signed up.

As a result, the player was able to gamble despite being self-excluded when they should have been denied entry to the venue, violating Merkur Casino’s licensing conditions under the 2021 KOA Act.

The KSA emphasised that Cruks is ‘an important tool for combating gambling addiction and protecting players against the undesirable effects of gambling’.

According to the latest figures from the KSA, the number of Cruks registrants has reached 38,000 since launch on 1 October 2021, the first day of the then newly-regulated Dutch online gambling market.

In April 2023, some updates were made to Cruks by the KSA with the aim of making it easier for players to set a temporary gambling stop, introducing a reflection period for users who wish to deregister, and a refreshed website.

Meanwhile, Merkur is the latest firm to be handed a regulator penalty by the KSA since BetCity, which was fined €400,000 for sending marketing material to customers aged between 18 and 23.