SBC News KSA self-reflects on problem gambling strategy ahead of Jansen’s departure

KSA self-reflects on problem gambling strategy ahead of Jansen’s departure

In his final tenure as Chairman of the Dutch Gaming Authority (KSA), René Jansen signed off the regulator’s new problem gambling report for one last time. 

One for the road

Jansen will step down from his duties later this year and used the report’s foreword to reflect on the KSA’s most recent achievements in terms of preventing illegal gambling and protecting the Dutch regulated market. 

“When I took office, the KSA was still a relatively unknown ‘niche player’. At the time, the illegally abundant online gambling offer also received relatively little attention,” Jansen wrote. 

“Those days are well and truly over. The legalisation and regulation of online gambling, the subsequent wave of advertising and the growth in the number of players since October 2021 have resulted in penetrating discussions in politics, media and society.

“The most important of these are the concerns about (personal and social) financial and health risks as a result of immoderate gambling. The prevention of gambling addiction and major financial damage is the foundation of the regulation chosen by the legislator. The interests of the players should be central.”

Advertising ban 

In terms of player protection, the report further outlined that the KSA’s commitment to ensuring responsible gambling continues to grow alongside the regulated online gambling market, which increased by 29% between 2022 and 2023. 

To strengthen its consumer care duties, the KSA welcomed a ban on untargeted online gambling ads last July, which aims to protect vulnerable groups and young people from gambling harm. 

Advertising through TV, radio and newspapers was strictly prohibited, together with gambling promotions in public places such as on billboards, bus shelters and buildings with public access. 

Since the ban was implemented, the KSA’s close monitoring has resulted in several fines and warnings being handed out to operators found to be in violation of the newly enforced advertising ban. 

Duty of care

When it comes to duty of care, throughout its investigation across 2023 the KSA also found that “too many online providers can intervene faster and better” to prevent possible cases of excessive gaming. 

More importantly, problem behaviour among young adults aged between 18 and 23 has been more difficult to flag down due to their lower stakes, signalling the need for more robust measures to detect them.

To achieve this some new policies have been drafted to be debated and decided on by the end of this year. One of them proposes that providers be given the tools to intervene “within an hour if necessary”. Another one is to block accounts of players between the age of 18 and 23 who go over a monthly deposit limit of €300, and of those over 23 who go past €700 per month.

Results of the consultation with stakeholders is expected to come out before the start of May. 

Self-exclusion 

An update has also been provided for the country’s self-exclusion scheme, Cruksregister.nl. According to the KSA, more promotion is needed to build up awareness around the service, as players are still having second thoughts about enlisting.

A new campaign in 2023 revealed that 20% of players in the Netherlands have experienced problem gambling. Therefore, with its initiatives going forward the KSA wants to reach not only gamblers, but also their environment such as family members and friends, as well as general practitioners and debt counsellors. 

You can read the full report on KSA’s website by clicking on the link

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