The Dutch police have cracked down on an illegal gambling ring and have arrested almost a dozen people in the process. In addition to stopping the unlicensed poker operations, the authorities seized a couple of guns and illegal drugs.
The operation was a collaborative effort between the police and the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Netherlands’ gambling regulator. After identifying a suspicious location on Nieuwpoortkade in Amsterdam-West, the police carried out a raid shortly before midnight. The action continued all night, according to locals.
The police found people playing an illegal poker game. After interrupting the session, the authorities arrested a total of 11 people. They also seized the poker supplies, some drugs and two guns. In addition, the enforcers took a number of electronic devices such as phones and hard drives. Many of the suspicious items were found thanks to sniffer dogs, the KSA noted.
According to the police, investigators will look into the arrestees to learn who the owner/s of the firearms is. The criminal investigation department is also investigating the people so they can be tried appropriately later.
KSA: Unlicensed Operations Hurt the Market
In its release, the Kansspelautoriteit criticized the illegal gambling operation, reminding people that unlicensed activities undermine the business of companies that play by the rules. In addition, the KSA noted that black market operators and illegal gambling rings rarely have the same safer gambling safeguards that legal companies are obliged to offer.
Furthermore, illegal gambling activities and the use of illegal drugs are serious violations of public order, the KSA insisted. To make matters worse, illegal gambling dens often breed other crimes, such as the distribution of illegal substances, violence, money laundering, etc.
Because of that, the authorities will continue to work together to crack down on crime and fraud, the KSA warned.
Other KSA Activity
In other news, the KSA recently fined a number of licensed operators over less severe but still serious gambling-related violations. Earlier this month, the watchdog slammed Merkur with a fine of almost $50,000 for allowing a self-excluded person to gamble.
Earlier, the KSA handed a $438,000 fine to Betent, which was found guilty of promoting its products to young adults. While young adults aren’t prohibited from playing, the Dutch market seeks to protect them from overexposure to gambling content. According to many studies, young people’s behavior is still developing, which is why they are extra vulnerable to gambling harm at this age.
In March, the regulator also sanctioned the online gambling operator Winning Poker Network which targeted local customers without having a license.