On June 16th, the Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) alongside the Public Prosecution Service raided properties belonging to the former owners of a high profile illegal online casino that operated in the Netherlands. The raids resulted in six arrests in various locations both in the Netherlands and abroad.
Online gambling is still currently illegal in the Netherlands, but it’s believed that the suspects involved still managed to earn as much as €250M from Dutch gamblers.
The operation involved raids of properties in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden, Malta, Curacao, Austria, and Switzerland. This resulted in the confiscation of €100M in assets including property, jewelry, art, cars, boats, along with cash and money in bank accounts.
The suspects include five men aged 66, 56, 52, 51, and 51, and one woman aged 45. All are suspected of violating the Dutch Gambling Act which currently prohibits online gambling and various money laundering offences. Ordinarily, the Gaming Authority will take action against illegal international online casinos and betting sites operating in the Netherlands and issue an appropriate fine. However, the Public Prosecution Service announcement doesn’t mention the regulator’s involvement in the case.
While the investigating authorities have yet to confirm the online casino involved, speculation in the Dutch press suggests that the suspects arrested may be the former owners of Oranje Casino. Oranje Casino was sold to Betsson in 2014, but it’s believed that a related software platform known as Swissgame that was not part of the sale could be at the root of the Public Prosecution Service investigation.
The arrests are the latest efforts by the Dutch authorities to clamp down on illegal online gambling operators. Earlier this year, the authorities took action against Amsterdams Casino ordering the former owners of the illegal site to pay €13.5M in taxes. The case is still ongoing.