The launch of the Dutch online sports betting and gaming market was one of the biggest developments in the European sector last year, but as the vertical establishes itself there is still more to be done.
This is according to Rene Jansen, Chairman of the Netherlands gambling authority Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), who discussed the continued growth of the Dutch sector and its regulatory oversight over the next 12 months in a new blog post.
2022, the Chairman explained, will see the KSA ‘enter a new phase in its supervision’ in relation to online games of chance such as poker and roulette, specifically conducting “more data-driven supervision and detect risks on that basis” in line with the Gambling Act’s requirement that operators supply various forms of data to the regulator.
“I can illustrate this as follows,” he explained. “Suppose there are two online providers with approximately the same number of players with roughly the same gaming behaviour.
“Suppose we then see that one provider performs a certain intervention in the field of addiction prevention significantly more often than the other, then this may be a reason for the KSA to look at how this difference can be explained.”
Additionally, Jansen also focused on the importance of operators’ moderation and responsibility when conducting operations, pointing to cases in other countries in which national regulators were forced to intervene by banning or restricting advertising, such as in Latvia.
He added: “I can only reiterate the importance of responsible and socially aware behavior. Individually, but also as a sector, for example through self-regulation. That should perhaps go further than the current Advertising Code Online Gaming.
“Everyone understands that some degree of advertising is needed to entice players to switch from illegal to legal providers, but don’t overdo it, I would say. Otherwise the shore turns the ship.”
On the issue of advertising, the Chairman did note, however, that marketing of games of chance has been ‘causing a stir’ in the Netherlands, both politically and publicly. Advertising of games of chance cannot be shown on television between 6am and 7pm under the terms of the KOA Act licensing regime.
However, with Dutch gambling advertising spend now reportedly standing at €23 million, there have been calls for greater limitations. Last month, members of the House of Representatives passed a motion calling for ‘untargeted advertising for risky games of chance – including TV commercials – to be banned, following the General Consultation on Gaming.
Providing an update on this matter, Jansen asserted that political patience on the subject ‘is very limited’, noting that the new cabinet of the Netherlands’ government will ‘soon have to adopt a position’ on proposed prohibition of gambling advertisements as calls for such a move mount in the legislature.
Concluding his commentary, Jansen welcomed the appointment of Minister for Legal Protection Franc Weerwind and praised the Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker for his ‘constructive cooperation’ with Dutch gambling stakeholders and for guiding the KOA Act through parliament, although maintaining that “there are still important steps to be taken’ as the sector continues to develop.