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The Dutch authorities examine operators who permit "extreme financial losses."

René Jansen, chair of the KSA, has stated that the Dutch regulator has initiated an inquiry into operators it feels are failing to fulfil their duty of care to their players.

Jansen presented at the 2022 Amsterdam Gaming & Awareness Congress 2022, a meeting in the Netherlands primarily focused on gambling harm.

The KSA chair reiterated that the regulator was working to implement obligatory maximum restrictions on gambling spend, an issue he had previously mentioned. Players are currently forced to choose a deposit limit, however there is no defined maximum, allowing them to establish a very large limit.

Furthermore, he stated that he believed a number of Dutch-licensed operators had breached their duty of care to their customers. As a result, he stated that the regulator had initiated a "wide-ranging examination" into how operators carry out their duty of care.

“We have also seen other excesses that raise questions about how providers deal with their duty of care. I am talking about excessive financial losses for players – tens of thousands of euros – in a short period of time, without any decisive action being taken by the provider concerned. The KSA has therefore launched a broad investigation into the implementation of the duty of care.”

The number of Dutch gamblers has remained constant.

During his speech, he also addressed the Dutch internet market's entry last year and if this has resulted in an increase in gambling harm. Jansen added that, based on KSA data, there was little evidence that the number of gamblers had increased since the market opened.

“The amount of players doesn’t seem to have really increased compared to the earlier illegal period,” he said. “There are 563,000 accounts being played with, and many players have multiple accounts.”

Jansen stated that "no solid figures are presently available," but that the National Alcohol and Drug Information System would soon have data on the number of people getting treated for gambling addiction.

“However, we also know that only a portion of people with a gambling addiction actually take the step to seek treatment,” he said. “We therefore welcome the Minister [for Legal protection]’s announcement that another major survey will be conducted, which will provide insight into the number of players and their gaming behaviour. This creates a more complete picture.”

Gambling ads

Jansen also highlighted advertising in the Netherlands, specifically the fact that a huge number of gambling advertisements were shown immediately after legalisation.

“What I don’t think anyone will have missed is the discussion and annoyance that quickly arose about the amount of advertising,” he said. “We’ve all seen them, I think: the signs along the highway and the many commercials on TV.

“But there was also discussion about the question of whether the playing limits are restrictive enough, and whether the duty of care of providers is adequately implemented.

“The opening up of the market and the number of providers trying to secure a place on the market often leads to a kind of ‘overkill’ in such an initial phase, before normalisation takes place.”

“That is why there has been and will be intervention in various areas, both by the Minister and by the KSA.”

As specific initiatives, Jansen mentioned a prohibition on role models in gambling advertisements and a planned ban on all "untargeted" gambling advertising. He also stated that the KSA took action against operators who used role models in advertisements in the run-up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.



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