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Dutch National Rapporteur Pitches 22 Points to Reform Gambling

Over the last decade, the expansion of online gambling activities has been unstoppable. With such growth in popularity, iGaming raises concerns about gambling-related harm and excessive gambling. Now, newly proposed changes in the Netherlands , call for the implementation of a system of rules and restrictions to protect online gamblers from overspending while at the same time, reducing the rate of problem gambling in the country.



The proposed changes come as a part of a recommendation sent by the country’s National Rapporteur on Addictions (NRV) to the Ministry of Justice . A letter sent to the Ministry by Maarten van Ooijen , the State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sports, underlined the recommendations of the NRV that propose changes to KOA, the country’s Remote Gambling Act.



Addressing the recommendations, he pointed to the proposal that claims the existing regulations “pose a greater risk for gambling addiction .” Ooijen also spoke about the recommendations that call for the implementation of limits in an effort to reduce problem gambling. Overall, the report by Prof. Dr. Arnt F.A. Schellekens , the National Rapporteur on Addictions, includes a total of 22 recommendations for changes to the existing gambling regulations in the country.



Notably, he supports the implementation of a “mandatory overreaching playing limits ” system, similar to the one that is in effect in Germany . According to Schellekens, the implantation of such a system is difficult, but its success in Germany shows that it can be achieved.



Ultimately, the system seeks to introduce limits for online gambling , including time limit, deposit limit, loss limit and balance limit. He outlined that for the effective implementation of this system, all legal gambling providers need to share information and ensure users are not spending more than the preset maximum limit.



Changes Seek to Reduce Gambling Harm and Addiction



Further recommendations outlined in the recent report call for the prohibition of games “with a demonstrably very high risk.” Another recommendation from Schellekens calls for an increase in the duty of care for licensed Dutch gambling operators . This recommendation echoes the view of the country’s gambling regulator, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), that recently encouraged gambling operators to do more to protect their customers.



Citing results of a study, the KSA said earlier this month that operators need to dedicate more efforts to real-time monitoring and ramp up player protection . The gambling regulator also said it plans to update its policies on responsible gambling .



Enhanced efforts in terms of prevention of gambling harm and excessive gambling, along with changes related to advertising are among the other recommendations described by the National Rapporteur on Addictions. The recent report also calls for changes related to the risks of gambling harm, proposing gambling operators to display information that can be found easily , similar to warnings related to alcohol or drugs.

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