After admitting that the current system of addiction prevention is flawed, the Dutch government intends to introduce new rules early next year to improve it.
Franc Weerwind said that recent data released by the Dutch regulator showed a need for a change. A KSA investigation into online licensees’ duty of care revealed that players were at risk because of inconsistent monitoring.
Weerwind said that he was answering questions in the Parliament. He is also committed to amending rules to include additional measures. He plans to present the necessary regulations early next year for consultation. In 2024, the evaluation of the Remote Gambling Act will examine the effectiveness of the addiction prevention provisions in the law.
He said: “It’s too early to say whether the whole approach is successful or not. I will carefully monitor the results of the different activities.
“I am determined to fight gambling addiction but do not believe it is realistic to eliminate the addiction.”
Senate members question safeguarding strategy
Weerwind answered questions from the Senate factions D66 and Party for the Animals PvdD. The questions centered on protecting vulnerable groups.
In July, the Minister stated that 23% of Cruks (the Netherlands’ self exclusion scheme) participants were under the age of 25.
In the fall, a KSA-style campaign will be launched to help vulnerable people such as young adults. This campaign will determine how best to increase the brand awareness of Cruks among various target groups.
A programme that helps identify and guide young adults with problematic or risky gambling behavior is also included in the list of initiatives. The Trimbos Institute is a specialist in addiction issues and will deliver this programme in schools starting in 2024.
The KSA and Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport are developing awareness activities for certain target groups. However, the Geldfit financial advisory body, which is geared towards consumers, is also working on a pilot project relating to gambling-related debts. The programme should be completed in the first half 2024.
Weerwind, a government-funded Addiction Prevention Fund funded eLearning programme for frontline professionals is also reviewing its gambling services.
#Over the course of the next year, it will be determined whether eLearning is sufficient to meet the needs and demands of frontline professionals. If not, alternative methods may be required.
After the publication of the report in early this year, KSA announced that it would tighten up its own duty of caring policies and recommend legislative changes to the Ministry of Justice and Security.
The regulator said that operators had asked for “a uniform interpretation or clarification” of certain standards so that they could all play on the same level and follow the same rules.