Casinos for you
Dutch Gambling Authority Chair Calls for Player Limits - But at What Cost?Most believe that law is black and white with definitive right and wrong approaches, but with human behaviour in the mix, it is much greyer than we think. Will the Dutch regulator convert to authoritarian regulation?
Based on the outcome of a recent study conducted by the Dutch gambling authority, Rene Jansen from the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) announced his support for compulsory wager limits. The KSA chair also mentioned the need for an increase in the duty of care expectations toward licensed operators to prevent harm as far as possible.
The Netherlands launched legal online gambling in 2021 and did so with very few controls on players. Instead of taking an authoritarian approach, the lawmakers opted for the freedom of choice. Jansen believes it is in the best interest of the country’s gamblers that compulsory deposit limits are enforced. He also suggests legislation changes to hold operators accountable for prompt action before players spiral.
Everyone Else is Doing It
The Dutch gambling legislator published the results of its recent investigation into the duty of care and player limit protocols from other European regions. Twenty-one countries shared their player protection practices, and the KSA drew comparisons to its own implementation of responsible gambling laws.
Findings mostly point to success in the Dutch market and with the release of the results, the KSA encouraged operators to further improve their position by helping players stay in control of their gambling. However, Jansen and the authority point to areas where other regulators better protect consumers.
The KSA chair believes those who choose authoritarian laws on this front opt for greater player safety. Considering this, he suggests Dutch lawmakers reconsider the current laws and implement similar limits as Spain, Belgium, Norway, and Germany. Jansen also believes operators must implement loss limit notifications and reach out to players displaying risky behaviour.
Pushed Too Far
Since the market launch, the regulator’s tone gradually morphed from one of understanding to one of escalating impatience. The Dutch jurisdiction has more lenient laws compared to older regulated regions, and the legislator hoped it could be a beacon of change. More recent reports from the Dutch gambling authorities hint at change on this front.
Although the regulated market is only 11 months old, it seems operators who push boundaries and players’ inability to make responsible choices have the legislator’s patience wearing thin. The government already imposed stringent advertising laws because of this. Continuous reminders from the regulator on the licensed operator’s duty of care may soon take the shape of changed regulations.
At the Oslo conference of the European Association for the Study of Gambling, Jansen took to the stand, advocating for stricter limits in the Netherlands. The KSA chair justifies the controls through the operators’ lack of accountability. Jansen said:
“I increasingly wonder whether we offer sufficient protection and safety to players with the current interpretation of the duty of care. I see that the behaviour of gambling providers leaves a lot to be desired.”
The announcement follows multiple reminders from the KSA on responsibilities its licensees signed up for and warning those who continuously dodge these.
Responsible or Control?
Understandably, the Netherlands needs to take the necessary steps to protect its players and ensure operators act ethically. Nonetheless, independent research findings confirmed increased black-market gambling when players deem local options overly strict. Moreover, responsible gambling advocates have warned of the implications these limits carry.
If the Dutch legislators impose deposit limits to control their player’s spending, will it have the positive impact they hope for or do more harm?
You might also like