Curaçao master license holder Antillephone facilitates gambling company in violating anti-money laundering rules

THE HAGUE – Gambling company Betent, known in the Netherlands for online gambling under BetCity and operating under a 'master license' from Antillephone, has received a fine of three million euros for violating anti-money laundering rules. 

According to the Dutch Gambling Authority (KSA), gambling companies must thoroughly verify their customers to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism, but Betent fell short in this regard. This is the first publicly disclosed fine by the KSA for such an offense. 

Betent, registered in Curaçao at the E-commerce Park, which offers sports betting through BetCity, had already received instructions from the regulator last year, along with other gambling companies, to improve their controls. 

The KSA then checked whether there was improvement. Between December of last year and May of this year, a significant portion of the assessed customer checks at Betent did not meet the requirements. 

Betent often initiated such checks late, after substantial amounts had already been gambled. The company was also negligent in requesting sources of income from customers. Furthermore, in many cases, Betent failed to report unusual transactions to the authorities, despite being obligated to do so. 

The KSA considers all of this a 'serious' offense. "We are now really beyond the start-up phase of the market, and that also means that there are no more excuses for some things," said KSA Chairman René Jansen. 

Heavy Fines Imposed 

The regulator frequently imposes substantial fines. For instance, in October, it was revealed that GoldWin, operating the website Westcasino, received a fine of 6.8 million euros. MKC Limited, associated with the site Betworld247, was also required to pay nearly one million euros. However, these monetary penalties were imposed for a different reason: the parties operated without the necessary license. 

The KSA (Dutch Gambling Authority) stated that, to date, it has imposed fines on only one other party for violating anti-money laundering rules. However, this penalty has not been made public yet due to an ongoing legal process. 

Curaçao Master Licenses 

The KSA has not responded to the investigation by Curacao.nu, which raised serious doubts about the validity of the 'master licenses' issued by the island. Antillephone is one of the master license holders whose license was not renewed in 2008 but received a so-called letter extension from then-Justice Minister David Dick through a non-legal and apparent tolerated arrangement. The original license from 1996 does not allow for such an extension. 




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