Six months after the opening of the online gambling market, the Netherlands is still setting an unwelcome example

Since October last year, legal online gambling has been possible in the Netherlands. The Gaming Authority (Ksa) grants a license for this and supervises. Chairman René Jansen told NU.nl that the Netherlands does not yet have an exemplary function in the field of online games of chance, which he thought a few years ago.

There is a lot of interest from abroad in online gambling policy in the Netherlands. For example, Germany is investigating how the online gambling market is regulated here and there is interest in New York and Toronto, which are also involved in legal online gambling. Jansen says that the Netherlands is in a sense a pioneer in the field of consumer protection and drug prevention. But we’re not there yet.

This is hindered in particular by the amount of advertisements that appear after the opening of the legal gambling market. “The law regulates the content of advertisements, but not the quantity,” the head of Ksa said. “In October, some providers went wild with ads when we chose to restrict it a little more.”

More celebrities in gambling ads

The number of TV and online gambling ads doubled shortly after the online gambling market opened, he wrote. by Volkskrant In December, the Advertising Rules Committee received many complaints about television commercials and there was criticism in the House of Representatives.

This led to measures by Minister Franc Weerwind (Legal Protection). Dutch celebrities are no longer allowed to participate in high-risk gambling advertisements. There is also a complete ban on untargeted gambling advertisements.

Jansen says it is too early to say anything about the impact of legalizing the online gambling market on the number of drug addicts. “Although more than six months have passed, I still have no information about it. Addiction concerns are clear about the number of ads. Addiction can lead to high debt. There is a due diligence with the providers of these games of chance, so we are checking how things are going when applying for licenses and supervision.”

Thirty more permit applications on the shelf

Since October 1, 2021, the KSA has approved eighteen permits. These providers have a license to legally offer online games of chance. Thirty applications are currently being processed. They are measured against a strict criterion before being approved.

‘She is quite busy’, says Jansen about Ksa’s work. In addition to processing license applications, legitimate providers are also continuously tested. “We are looking for competitive advantages. Consider tweeting about the progress of ongoing sporting events. This encourages impulsive gambling. Also, make sure providers don’t target their ads to minors and young adults.”

Illegal supplies have declined significantly since then. KSA has investigated 158 illegal suppliers in recent months. Of these, 142 have taken measures and are therefore no longer active in the Netherlands. Other websites required further action, but some were also blocked in the Netherlands.

“Many people switched to the bill”

In the coming period, KSA will process license applications. “A lot of capacity is needed now,” says Jansen. “Hopefully we can get over this quickly and use this surveillance capability. We also stay close to everything when it comes to combating illegal sourcing.”

“The number of players on illegal sites is significantly lower than before,” says Jansen, without mentioning concrete figures. “However, we see that the number of visitors to illegal gambling sites is decreasing and visitors to these sites are spending less time. The ads helped: Dutch consumers know how to find legal alternatives. Many illegal sites were filmed.”

Source: NU

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