Franc Weerwind, Dutch Minister for Legal Protections

NOGA: Minister Weerwind must keep cool against reformists irresponsible demands

NOGA, the Netherlands Online Gambling Association, has branded yesterday’s vote by the Kamer to support motions endorsing a ban on online gambling advertising and online slots as “thoughtless and irresponsible”.

Yesterday, Dutch ministers approved by a narrow majority motions brought forward by the Socialist Party (SP) to ban online gambling advertising and introduce a further ban on high-risk games of chance.

Both motions were put forward by SP minister Michiel van Nispen, as part of the Kamer’s ongoing revision of the Remote Gambling Act (KOA Act), the legislative framework adopted in October 2021 to regulate the Netherlands’ online gambling marketplace.

Though approved, the motions will be reviewed by Legal Protections Minister Franc Weerwind, who will determine whether the motions can be turned into law to be voted on by the Senate.

SBC News NOGA: Minister Weerwind must keep cool against reformists irresponsible demands
Peter-Paul de Goeij: NOGA

Peter-Paul de Goeij, NOGA’s Director-General, has warned Minister Weerwind to ignore the motions, asserting, “The House is trying to force a decision based on wrong figures, assumptions and unrealistic fears.”

Weerwind is advised to maintain his agenda on reforms to the KOA market. “There is really not enough hard data to make sensible decisions at the moment; which is why a lot of research is now being done,” says the advocacy.

NOGA argues that banning online advertising would simply see the House of Representatives chase players to illegal websites, providing no way to distinguish between legal and illegal gambling providers.

Despite a syndicate of reformist parties calling for the KOA market to be overhauled, NOGA maintains that Dutch gambling has upheld its regulatory duties, with “90% of all players in our country playing with legal gambling providers.”

“There are already signs that gamblers are disappearing into the illegal circuit due to the previously imposed advertising ban on radio, TV, newspapers, and in the open air,” NOGA adds.

Minister Weerwind will soon update the House on the implementation of motions concerning high-risk games, and the emergency law before the evaluation of the KOA Act. Peter-Paul de Goeij comments, “Minister Weerwind has kept a cool head so far. We count on the outgoing cabinet, as well as the incoming cabinet, to continue that sensible line and never jeopardize the protection of online players.”

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