In a move that could reshape the gambling landscape of the Netherlands, the National Rapporteur on Addictions (NRV) has unveiled a series of bold recommendations that advocate for more stringent regulation and player protections.
Based on the comprehensive report examining the health impacts of gambling, the NRV has proffered 22 impactful opinions to the Ministry of Justice. One of the most notable recommendations, penned by Dr. Arnt FA Schellekens, urges the adoption of mandatory play limits, akin to the existing framework in Germany, for all licensed casino games in the country. The primary intent behind this proposal is to bolster customer protection across the Netherlands’ 21 licensed online casinos.
Beyond play limits, the report casts a critical eye on “high-risk games,” suggesting that games outside the player’s influence—like fruit machines—should face restrictions or potential bans. In an age where advertising plays a pivotal role in influencing decisions, the NRV advocates for a paradigm shift. They’ve called for minimizing advertising exposure only to individuals explicitly seeking gambling-related information, underlining a direct correlation between advertising exposure and increased participation in gambling.
Echoing sentiments championed by health advocates across sectors, the report draws parallels with tobacco, emphasizing that customers must be made aware of potential health ramifications linked to gambling.
Accountability is another focal point of the NRV’s recommendations. They propose that operators should bear responsibility for any gambling-related damages stemming from negligence in investigation or duty of care. The report cites Austrian legislation as a benchmark, where operators must actively ensure checks and balances, especially when confronted with signs of excessive gaming behavior.
While Legal Protection Minister Franc Weerwind previously indicated play limits might not materialize in the Netherlands, the winds of change could be afoot. The Ministry of Justice has already hinted at prospective legislative reforms in the coming year, a move inspired by recommendations from the national gambling regulator, the KSA.
As the Netherlands stands at the cusp of potentially game-changing reforms, stakeholders and players alike await the dawn of a new era in the nation’s gambling industry. Stay tuned as these pivotal recommendations may well set the tone for the future of gambling in the country!