The head of the Netherlands’ Gaming Authority (KSA), René Jansen, has spoken out once more to advocate for stricter duty of care restrictions for online operators.
His comments came on September 7 in Oslo at the European Association for the Study of Gambling (EASG) and in a follow-up blog post on the KSA website, which he penned.
Jansen specifically cites the study that the KSA published in August, which examined the duty of care restrictions of 21 countries.
The results, he says, found that other European nations like Belgium, Norway, Germany and Spain all chose to enforce maximum spending limits, which he is in favour of. Currently, players in the Netherlands self-set their spending and time limits when they begin playing.
Jansen says this does not go far enough: “I advocate that we in the Netherlands also move in the direction of tighter limits on gambling behaviour and expenditure by means of a deposit limit prescribed by the government. Providers have not shown enough of their own volition to be on the cautious side when it comes to protecting their customers.”
The second change he advocates for in the blog post is adopting Sweden’s procedure of investigating players whose losses pass a certain monetary threshold. In Sweden, an operator has to contact any player who has lost more than €930 in a month.
Peter-Paul de Goeij, managing director of The Netherlands Online Gambling Association (NOGA) told VIXIO: “We do see a real possibility that such limits may be imposed in the near future. NOGA is concerned that the Netherlands government is — so quickly after market launch (almost a year later) — already making fundamental changes to the carefully crafted and considered gambling law and policy, this without having concrete evidence or signs that problem gambling is on the rise since October last year.
“[This] is the case with the proposed advertising ban. Policy is changed on the basis of assumptions and fear, rather than research and hard data. We should be careful not to put too many locks on the door of regulated gambling as it will hurt channelization and with it consumer protection.”
Meanwhile, the KSA also issued a cease and desist on Tuesday to operator MKC Ltd, which is not licensed to provide online gambling in the Netherlands and yet has done so on at least one website, according to the regulator.
MKC Limited is licensed in Malta and faces a fine of €28,000 per week, with a maximum penalty of €84,000, if they do not cease operating in the Netherlands, said KSA.
“The fewer illegal operators are out there the better,” says de Goeij. “Whether it is likely that the fine will be paid in this case is unclear, also given that the basis for these fines is administrative and sometimes executing administrative fines internationally proves to be more cumbersome.”
This is the second cease and desist notice published by the KSA this week, following similar action against fellow Malta-based operator LCS Ltd.