Dutch financial literacy programme to teach gambling risks at schools

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An €8m financial education programme has been approved by the Netherlands government to teach Dutch schools about money matters, debt and understanding risks, including online gambling risks.

Led by Carola Schouten, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Poverty Policy, Participation and Pensions, the programme’s goal is to improve financial literacy to protect Dutch youth from incurring debt and help them to learn money management skills.

Funding will be provided to teachers so that they can educate students on financial literacy to prepare them for when they are financially independent. The programme is also part of the government’s action plan to reduce money worries, poverty and debt.

Schouten said on the government’s website: “We see that it is not clear to many young people and their parents what they have to arrange and that young people, therefore, miss out on money and are financially squeezed.

“I think it is very important that they learn good financial skills and also learn about the risks of, for example, investing with crypto or online gambling. And that young people know that there is help when things go wrong.”

The programme will begin in MBO schools first, as research by Nibud has shown that more than a quarter of MBO students have to deal with payment arrears or debts.

Following an initial test phase in MBO schools after the summer, the programme will be rolled out across all Dutch primary and secondary schools from 2024 onwards.

The government’s programme comes as the Dutch gambling industry is a couple of weeks away from the enforcement of an untargeted advertising ban on July 1.

The ban will restrict gambling adverts to pre-approved campaigns that indicate a minimum reach of 95 per cent to consumers aged 24 or older.

Speaking recently at the Gaming in Holland conference, Kansspelautoriteit Chair René Jansen told operators that the gambling authority can only provide limited guidance ahead of the upcoming ban as the area is “new and uncharted” territory for them too.