René Jansen, Chair of the Kansspelautoriteit, has called on the adoption of a deeper duty of care within the Netherlands as the regulator detailed “interesting” findings as part of an ongoing investigation.
After being triggered during 2022, the Ksa noted that due to a rise of “new, in-depth questions about what the duty of care looks like in practice,” the inquiry has subsequently been extended into the second quarter of the current year.
“The exact manner in which providers must fulfil the duty of care has not been clearly prescribed,” Jansen said.
“I expect that our research will lead to a better understanding of the way in which the providers have shaped and put into practice their duty of care.”
The inspection commenced after signals were received “about players who lost large amounts of money in a short period of time,” which, the Ksa said, promoped a deeper dive on the implementation and structure of policy, processes and the implementation of duty of care.
“I’ve said it before, on several occasions. There are too many signals about players losing large sums in a short period of time, about young players getting into trouble due to loss of control in online gambling,” Jansen said.
“They worry me a lot. Because the duty of care should ensure that these kinds of signals are at most incidental and sporadic, instead of recurring and elusive. Our initial research findings reveal a very broad and varied interpretation of the duty of care.
“Of the early parties that we have questioned about this, no two are alike in their approach. How exactly does it work in practice for a large group of permit holders? We want to know more, which is why we have now commissioned discussions with providers about concrete practical examples.”
Elaborating on “a few initial observations,” Jansen suggested that early data shows that “a small group of players are responsible for a large part of the losses, playing time and number of bets”.
In addition, it is said that there are “major differences in the way in which licensees deal with the average loss, the playing time and the number of bets,” with it also said to be unclear “how and when an intervention is made”.
“This is just a first sampling of the findings,” Jansen commented. “One that, as far as I’m concerned, already makes it clear that we have to dig a spade deeper. And that we should definitely consider prescribing the theme of ‘duty of care’ in a more specific and practical way.
“Separate from this ongoing investigation, I’ll give a shot across the bow as an example. When filling in the limits, we don’t want to see drop down fields with pre-filled amounts/hours/or other things. Those fields must be empty. The player must think for himself – without direction – about what he wants to fill in there.
“We also don’t want to hear any more extremes from young players who have lost large sums in a short period of time. As far as I am concerned, we should assume a (low) average income that is common for young people, with separate maximum limits for young adult players.
“Well, it is of course possible that young adult internet millionaires, TikTokkers, YouTubers or other influencers feel disproportionately affected by such a measure. But I’m happy to take that risk.”