The Netherlands Gambling Authority (KSA) has said it will extend its review into a requirement that licensees exercise a “duty of care” toward players because it has uncovered “new, in-depth questions” about what this looks like in practice.
Initial observations suggest that operators interpret duty of care in different ways, but information supplied so far does not provide enough detail to review the exact process of supplying that care, the regulator said this week.
Initial findings include the information that there are major differences in the ways licensees handle individual losses, average losses, playing time and number of bets, the regulator said.
A small percentage of players generate a large portion of losses, playing time and numbers of bets, the authority wrote.
Interventions based on concerns are handled in very different ways, and although young adults are specifically monitored, there is “no clear approach” in how to handle them, the KSA said.
Duty of care is also an issue in Sweden, where the state Treasury has recommended bolstering consumer protections.
The Dutch regulator has noticed too many indications that some players are losing large sums of money in a short period of time, as well as suggestions that young people are experiencing a loss of control in their gambling habits, KSA chair Rene Jansen wrote in a blog posting.
Such indications should be “incidental and sporadic, instead of recurring and elusive”, he said.
Players setting their time and spending limits should not be offered drop-down menus with pre-filled amounts, as they should be making genuine choices, Jansen said.
The regulator also said he believed that operators should assume young people have less income than older ones, and should therefore be offered lower maximum limits.
“It is of course possible that young adult internet millionaires, TikTokkers, YouTubers or other influencers feel disproportionately affected by such a measure,” Jansen said. “But I'm happy to take that risk.”
As the regulator wants to request additional information and discuss it with operators, the review will be extended into the second quarter of this year, the KSA said.