The Dutch minister overseeing gambling policy has told parliament he intends to tighten rules surrounding addiction prevention, as well as further limit advertising.
Franc Weerwind, the minister for legal protection, made the commitment in a series of letters sent to legislators on December 5.
The first letter states: “Young adults are over-represented in the number of player accounts and research shows that [self-exclusion register] Cruks and [national problem gambling service] Loket Kansspel are not sufficiently well known about.”
To address this, Weerwind is establishing more principles for addiction prevention with the Netherlands Gambling Authority (KSA).
He will also be looking to adjust the laws and regulations for maximum playing limits with each gambling provider and pilot new schemes aimed at “influencing behaviour — through targeted awareness-raising activities for vulnerable groups”.
Weerwind aims to accomplish this over the coming months, he said.
Plans are already in motion to introduce a ban on so-called “non-targeted advertising”, expected to come into effect early next year.
The KSA will also develop an improved version of Cruks, the self-exclusion register, in January 2023.
The other letter, presented to legislators simultaneously, accompanied the conclusion of an administrative report regarding the function of the KSA.
The report on the KSA, carried out by research firm KWINK Groep, made five key conclusions.
It praised the regulator for carrying out its most urgent and mandatory work, even renewing licences and further fleshing out its coordinating role in the field of addiction prevention during the evaluation period.
However, the regulator was told it was not focusing enough on certain areas, such as the supervision of land-based gambling and enforcement against illegal bricks-and-mortar gambling and it could improve its use of data-driven supervision.
Additionally, the KSA could improve its engagement with stakeholders and needs a sharper, clearer division of roles, according to the assessment.
René Jansen, chairman of the KSA’s board, said the regulator will take the recommendations to heart in a response posted on December 6.
Jansen said the challenge is to decide the KSA’s approach to supervision and enforcement based on data and calls for the clarification of the roles of the various government parties involved in preventing gambling addiction.
Finally, the KSA said it is investigating whether it can deploy more resources next year to help local authorities tackle illegal land-based gambling.
The Netherlands’ Independent Administrative Bodies Framework Act requires that the KSA is assessed for efficiency and effectiveness every five years.
The regulator was assessed on its ability to be selective, decisive, collaborative, independent, transparent and professional.