Netherlands Plans Tighter Monthly Deposit, Spending Checks

January 3, 2024
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Citing “worrying and undesirable developments”, the Dutch minister in charge of gambling issues is planning to tighten controls on voluntary deposit limits.
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Citing “worrying and undesirable developments”, the Dutch minister in charge of gambling issues is planning to tighten controls on voluntary deposit limits.

Franc Weerwind, the minister for legal protection, announced plans to require players who set monthly deposit limits of more than €350 ($384) to be informed of the risks in setting higher limits.

Young adults, those aged 18 to 23, will have a €150 limit.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands Gambling Authority (KSA) is consulting on plans to require affordability checks when a player deposits more than €700 per month, Weerwind said on December 21.

For young adults, affordability checks would begin at €300 per month.

The operator should request proof of income when these thresholds are reached, according to the KSA.

The regulator earlier said that its research had showed operators were not monitoring player behaviour in real time, and sometimes reacted slowly when players were showing signs of problem gambling.

New policy rules would require the licensee to react to signs of problem gambling within one hour, the KSA said.

The new rules would also require operators to limit access to a gambling account if they cannot contact a player when necessary.

The consultation runs through to February 1, with a goal of publishing the policy changes by April 1, the regulator said.

To justify the changes, Weerwind referred to studies on the beneficial effects of pointing out to players the advantages of setting limits, in addition to pointing out aspects of their gambling behaviour.

Weerwind said he expects to launch a consultation on the proposed measures in February, with a view to introducing them before the end of the year.

The new rules would also require operators to display the size of stakes in euros throughout a gambler’s play, the minister said.

The news of Weerwind’s proposals emerged in a letter to the House of Representatives before Christmas.

The steps follow a ban on untargeted advertising such as newspaper or TV ads that took effect on July 1. The proposed rule changes also come before the results of an evaluation of the Dutch gambling act due later this year.

Netherlands Online Gambling Association director Peter-Paul de Goeij said it is important that “the minister clarifies the rules for safe gambling and thus makes the duty of care more concrete”, but also important to ensure that licensed gambling “is not made too unattractive”.

“We will study the proposal carefully and make suggestions to improve it and thus achieve the desired effects,” he said.

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