René Jansen: Ball ‘in the operators’ court’ to help curb excessive gambling

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René Jansen, the departing Chair of the Dutch gaming authority, Kansspelautoriteit, has stated that the ball is “in the operators’ court” to help reduce excessive gambling following the publication of the amended Responsible Gaming Policy.

Posted on the KSA’s website, Jansen gave his last speech to providers at the recent Gaming in Holland conference, where he commented on the amended Responsible Gaming Policy, which was published in the Government Gazette earlier this month.

The amended Responsible Gaming Policy details a range of adjustments and clarifications for all licensed operators in the Netherlands, including the obligation for real-time monitoring and financial deposit limits.

Deposit limits of €300 per calendar month for players aged 18-24 and €700 per calendar month for players over 24, will be implemented from October 1 later this year.

From this date, if a player hits their respective deposit limit during a calendar month, operators must block any further deposits and carry out a financial check to make sure the player in question can afford to gamble over their specific deposit limit. 

This financial check must be done within one hour of the deposit limit being hit and the player must be interviewed, either in person when playing inside a casino, or on the phone, email or chat box. An on-screen or online pop-up is not acceptable.

Jansen noted that the deposit limits have been set to “curb excessive gambling behaviour” and to help prevent gambling addiction.

However, the outgoing KSA Chair, who will be replaced by Michel Groothuizen on July 1, said operators must now do their part by reviewing their addiction prevention policies and how they conduct duty of care.

Jansen commented on the deposit limits: “The reason why we are doing this is to curb excessive gambling behaviour and it is also an important measure in terms of preventing addiction.

“The real-time monitoring obligation has also been introduced and requires operators to intervene within an hour in the event of potentially excessive gambling behaviour.

“I am very proud that we have put this package of measures in place within such a short space of time and within the boundaries set by current legislation. Many of the sad stories we have seen and heard in recent years, including those relating to significant losses, could have been avoided if these measures had been implemented earlier.

“The KSA’s aim is to reduce those excesses to zero in the future, for which the ball is now in the operators’ court. We hope that these revamped rules will serve as an additional impetus for operators to reassess and revise addiction prevention policies and the way their duty of care is implemented.”

During his speech, Jansen also commented on the state of the Netherlands’ online gambling market and its future, the Remote Gambling Act and the KSA’s supervision of the operators’ duty of care.

In addition, the KSA Chair highlighted a gambling awareness campaign for young adults, the ban on non-targeted advertising and the risks of excessive advertising during sporting events this summer.