Franc Weerwind defends payment processes in Dutch Parliament Q&A

Dutch government

“Participants in games of chance must be able to control the amount in the gambling account,” asserted Franc Weerwind, Dutch Minister for Legal Protection, in a parliamentary Q&A session regarding payment providers and the region’s igaming space.

Responding to a series of probing questions from Michiel van Nispen of the Socialist Party and Mirjam Bikker of the Christian Union, Weerwind tackled the issues of potential delays to payouts as well as withdrawal cancellations and if a potential cessation of such an option could minimise harms.

Regarding the former, the Minister noted that licence holders are obliged to credit and debit players’ gaming accounts “without undue delay,” but highlighted that it falls within the Gaming Authority’s remit to supervise compliance with such issues.

Despite seeming to acknowledge that such delays have been evidenced, Weerwind said that thus far the “delayed payment of gaming credits have not been sufficient reason for the Gaming Authority to investigate this further.”

Adding: “The speed with which payment is made depends on the circumstances of the case. For example, it may be necessary to carry out a check for fraud and money laundering or a check in which the provider checks bonus conditions before a bonus can be paid. One gambling provider may be faster than the other. 

“The standard remains ’without undue delay’, supervised by the Ksa as described above. There is currently no reason to intervene”.  

Furthermore, Weerwind was also quizzed on the option for players to reverse withdrawal requests, with van Nispen and Bikker voicing concern that encouragements could be made by licensees as such action would benefit their revenue models.

In response, Weerwind highlighted that such cancellation of payments must be viewed in relation to the duty of care implemented by the potential group in question to prevent gambling addiction.

He also warned that operators must be “constantly alert to signs of problematic gaming behaviour and must intervene decisively if there are signs”.

In addition, the Minister reminded that while a one-off cancellation may not be viewed as problematic, the action must be taken in context with an individuals’ entire gaming behaviour.

A reminder was also given regarding an ongoing regulatory investment into the fulfilment of duties of care by licensees, with the study expected to be completed by spring of next year.

The final question issued continued down the path previously trodden, but asked that if reverse withdrawal requests were outlawed could this help to minimise the potential risks that could be associated with continued play for some users.

“Participants in games of chance must be able to control the amount in the gambling account. A player can request the licence holder to pay the amount on the gaming account,” Weerwind answered.

Adding: “Part of being able to take control yourself is also the possibility to still be able to cancel a payment order. As indicated earlier … the risk of someone playing on for too long is counteracted by the implementation of the duty of care by providers. 

“In anticipation of the results of the aforementioned investigation by the Gaming Authority, I see no reason to prohibit cancellation.”