Kansspelautoriteit Chairman Rene Jansen called on operators to do more to protect players against gambling harm or problem gambling.
In a blog, Jansen highlighted the results of a recent Dutch gambling investigation which showed that operators did not respond quickly enough to players showing signs of gambling addiction.
The KSA, based on the research findings and discussions with ten operators on the Dutch market will tighten their policy. They will amend the responsible gambling protocol to include real-time monitoring, blocking accounts that show worrying signs, until intervention is made, and adding rules about indicators that should be considered in gaming behavior assessment.
Jansen noted that the discussions that the authority had with ten operators resulted 10 different duty-of-care elaborations. He said that open standards of duty-of care have led to a “fragmented” interpretation of an operator’s responsibilities, which isn’t always in the best interests of the player.
The KSA Chair, for example, explained that some operators cannot monitor in real time, which means that problematic player behavior can sometimes go unnoticed and without intervention up to three full days.
Jansen said: “Gambling is a serious financial problem that can occur in a very short period of time.” The providers must be able see where things are going wrong much faster and be able intervene immediately.
The KSA chair made it clear that Dutch gambling players benefitted from legal gambling. In the illegal market there is “no responsibility at all.
We would have never had the opportunity to see the details of the kitchen as the providers now provide us. We often found that the basic requirements such as age and identity verification were not met by illegal providers.
Jansen also highlighted the work operators had done to protect vulnerable group, such as the application of extra limits for young adults in the age categories 18 to 24.
The KSA chair has called on operators licensed to operate in the Dutch market, to do more to safeguard players.
“Providers that have received a KSA permit should not be complacent; they should do the opposite. Duty of care is a very important (and perhaps the most important) task that providers have, and must be taken seriously.
“Based on this study’s findings, we will assist in this area by further defining standards and tightening up our policy rules. We also call on the providers and their trade organizations to increase the bar of duty of care before that date. The sooner, the better. While they take action and consider the situation, we will continue to investigate providers who have exceeded their limits.
A legal gambling industry is not a free gift to the providers, but it requires hard work and trust from players, governments, and society in general. It’s up to the providers whether they deserve their license.
The KSA has also recently announced that Verslavingspreventiefonds – the Addiction Prevention Fund – will be financing three pilot gambling addiction awareness projects that will provide information about the risks of gambling.