Home NewsCasino Jansen, the outgoing KSA chairman, calls on RG to continue its land-based action

Jansen, the outgoing KSA chairman, calls on RG to continue its land-based action

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Rene Jansen is the outgoing Chairman of Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit. He has called for the land-based gaming industry to take more steps to curb irresponsible playing.

Jansen resigned from his position with KSA in October. His current term will end on the 1st of October 2024. Jansen, when he departs the KSA in 2024, will have served as its leader for six years. He is responsible for the massive changes that have taken place in the Netherlands’ gambling industry. This includes the introduction of online gambling regulation in 2021.

The risk of developing a gambling addiction has increased in recent years, as the popularity of the game in the Netherlands continues to grow. The Netherlands responded by introducing measures like a prohibition on non-targeted advertisements. This month, a vote was held to ban all online gambling advertisements, including “high-risk” wagering like playing online slots. It’s not yet clear if these measures will become law.

Jansen’s speech to the Casino Operations Summit, held in Amsterdam, focused on how land-based casinos could do more to encourage responsible gambling. Jansen also noted that KSA investigations have been paying off, as a number large-scale gambling activities were shut down recently.

Jansen stated that “previously, we were involved primarily in the actions of partners like municipalities or police.” Our inspectors are now focusing more on their investigations. It’s paying off.

We are seeing results in action: The number of calls to our Information Line about illegal poker, bingo and lotteries has been steadily rising. “And that just leaves you wanting to know more.”

Jansen wants tighter measures for RG

During Jansen’s speech, he stated that he visited a few arcades in order to see what measures the land-based venues took to promote RG.

Jansen observed that there was not enough being done to protect players from excessive gambling and irresponsible behavior. Jansen found that none of the arcades he visited set a maximum playing time. It is especially concerning when arcades are open 24/7 and cannot make players leave.

Jansen was able to place bets on several machines simultaneously in all the arcades he visited. In some arcades, there is no limit to how many machines players can play at once. Jansen stated that this encourages “immoderate play”, as not all arcades monitor players’ behavior or limit the number of transactions.

Cruks and their role

Jansen believes that Cruks, Netherlands’ self exclusion program, isn’t being used effectively at venues on land.

Some arcades have open doors, so players can walk right into their land-based venue. Jansen said that this is an “easily mitigated risk factor” which needs to be addressed in order for self-excluded gamblers to stop their gambling.

Jansen says that while arcade employees are Cruks-trained, there are some areas where knowledge may not be at the necessary level, like the ability of land-based staff to register players. Several venues failed to implement an involuntary Cruks Registration over a quarter. The arcades are required to notify players that have excessively gambled and do not respond to the anti-problem playing measures.

Jansen suggested comparing it to the bartender in a café. His regular conversation with his regular customers is also a way of controlling social behavior. In arcades, we also notice regulars.

These are the things that should grab employees’ attention. They see a longer playing time as normal while in reality it’s a sign of excessive gambling.

The KSA has considered other RG measures

Jansen wants land-based venues to take greater care in identifying problem gamblers. Jansen is calling for addiction policies that pay more attention to how long players gamble and the machines they play on.

Jansen, along with the KSA, also wants to see less payments made by credit card.

Jansen called for the modernisation of laws to allow more “smart arcades”. These arcades allow bettors to play without cash, making it easier to track players, their duration and the amount they wager. Jansen did acknowledge that the implementation of these systems will take some time, as they must be designed to consider factors such as money laundering.

Turbulent times for venues on land

Jansen ended by stating that the industry is experiencing “turbulent times”. It is particularly true after the Covid-19 epidemic, when compared with the online market.

KSA’s chairman highlighted the fact that online gambling has taken away a significant share of revenue from traditional venues. Illegal gambling is also a growing problem.

Jansen said that providers had to put in a great deal of effort both when applying for licences and keeping them up-to-date. To prevent companies from straying onto the black market, he believes that it is important to make licensing attractive to them.

Jansen notices change in House of Representatives’ viewpoint

After previous attempts to ban online gambling advertisements failed, the recent vote was passed to prevent them. After the vote, the industry reacted with negative comments. The Netherlands Online Gambling Association called the move “thoughtless” and “irresponsible”.

Franc Weerwind is the Netherlands minister of legal protection and will review the issue and decide whether or not to make the bans law.

NOGA pointed out that Weerwind previously had kept his “cool head” when implementing gambling measures. Jansen on the other hand, highlighted that the view of the House of Representatives has changed, and also Weerwind’s comments made against the 10 motions passed by the house.

It is obvious. Jansen said that the majority in the House of Representatives has changed their mind about the regulation of online markets. What the future holds is not yet clear.

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