payments

Franc Weerwind: Dutch firms must pay customers ’without undue delay’

Dutch Minister of Justice Franc Weerwind outlined the government’s expectations for gambling companies’ payments journeys in a recent Q&A with the House of Representatives. 

Answering questions from legislators in the Netherlands’ Second Chamber, Weerwind asserted that operators should deposit funds into customers’ bank accounts “without undue delay”, but also remain vigilant on money laundering and fraud detection.

He also added, however, that the ultimate responsibility for enforcing the speed of transactions lies with the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Dutch Gambling Authority, when quizzed by the Socialist Party’s Michiel van Nispen and Christian Union’s Mirjam Bikker.

“The speed with which payment is made depends on the circumstances of the case,” he said.  SBC News Franc Weerwind: Dutch firms must pay customers ’without undue delay’

“For example, it may be necessary to carry out a check for fraud and money laundering or a check in which the provider checks bonus conditions before a bonus can be paid. One gambling provider may be faster than the other.”

Although Weerwind observed that there have been cases of delays in operators’ payments journey, so far there has “not been sufficient reason” for the KSA to investigate further.

“The standard remains ’without undue delay’, supervised by the KSA as described above. There is currently no reason to intervene,” he asserted.

On one-off cancellations of payments, Weerwind stated that this is not necessarily problematic, but should still be taken into context with a player’s general gambling behaviour. 

A reminder was also given regarding an ongoing regulatory investment into the fulfilment of duties of care by licensees, with the study expected to be completed by the spring of next year.

The legislators also quizzed Weerwind on whether the potential banning of reverse withdrawal requests, and whether it could help minimise risks associated with continued play for some users.

“Participants in games of chance must be able to control the amount in the gambling account. A player can request the licence holder to pay the amount on the gaming account,” the Minister responded.

“Part of being able to take control yourself is also the possibility to still be able to cancel a payment order. As indicated earlier … the risk of someone playing on for too long is counteracted by the implementation of the duty of care by providers. 

“In anticipation of the results of the aforementioned investigation by the Gaming Authority, I see no reason to prohibit cancellation.”

Bikker and van Nispen both voiced concert that reverse withdrawal requests could be encouraged by licence holders to benefit their revenue models.

Weerwind asserted in response that payment cancellations must be viewed concerning the duty of care implemented by the potential group in question to prevent gambling addiction.

He also warned that operators must be “constantly alert to signs of problematic gaming behaviour and must intervene decisively if there are signs”.

As Justice Minister, Weerwind is one of the most influential figures in the development of Dutch gambling policy, having been at the forefront of some of the sector’s biggest advertising shakeups over the past year. 

Since the re-regulation of the Dutch online market under the KOA Act in October 2021, Weerwind has noted a major upsurge in gambling advertising, described recently as a “bombardment”. 

As a result, he has been one of the key proponents of this year’s ban on the use of “role models” in gambling advertising and is now targeting a total ban on sports sponsorships by 2025.

SBC News Franc Weerwind: Dutch firms must pay customers ’without undue delay’

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