Dutch Minister Outlines Plans To Tackle 'Worrying' Player Protection Developments

March 5, 2024
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The Netherlands plans to have a new centre for experts on gambling addiction operating within the first half of 2024 in response to “worrying and undesirable” player protection developments, according to a letter written by the minister for legal protection, Franc Weerwind.
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The Netherlands plans to have a new centre for experts on gambling addiction operating within the first half of 2024 in response to “worrying and undesirable” player protection developments, according to a letter written by the minister for legal protection, Franc Weerwind.

The letter published on February 29 was written to the chairman of the House of Representatives and outlines a range of measures to improve player protection ahead of the upcoming evaluation of the Remote Gambling Act expected in October 2024.

It also includes links to a range of evidence-based research that has helped to shape the government's policy. 

“The worrying developments in the online gambling market require firm action,” according to Weerwind, who hopes his work agenda in the letter will help “to prevent gambling addiction as much as possible and to provide help with gambling addiction” to protect vulnerable groups.

Weerwind believes a new gambling-focused addiction centre will help experts share information and insights, as well as foster stakeholder collaboration and help to shape future policy.

Weerwind believes it is also important to ensure that an expertise centre “can operate independently of any interests in the field of [addiction prevention of] games of chance.”

The Trimbos Institute, which provides addiction research and policy advice, has been tasked with establishing a plan to set up the expertise centre.

A central information point may also be established for people to access independent and factual information about the risks associated with different gambling games.

Loket Gambling, the current gambling support centre, will be evaluated by the Netherlands Gambling Authority (KSA) in the first quarter of 2024, to explore ways to develop it into this central information point.

A new information campaign aimed at 18-23 year-olds to highlight the risks of gambling is also being planned. 

Weerwind ended his letter by saying that he will “continue to closely monitor developments regarding online gambling. Where necessary, I make adjustments, within the current framework of the law.”

The Dutch government has been looking to ramp up player protection measures in recent years. 

On February 20, the Ministry of Justice and Security opened a public consultation on a proposed draft regulation regarding changing player deposit limit rules and advertising restrictions.

Among the many proposed changes include the introduction of maximum monthly deposit limits of €350 for players in the age group of 24 or older, and €150 for players in the age group of 18-24.

The changes also propose banning “engaging in any form of visual or auditory advertising, including bonus offers, beyond what is strictly required to provide player profile information or the option to update or complete the player profile”.

The consultation will close on April 3, 2024. The proposed date for changes to come into force is October 1, 2024.

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