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Dutch Regulator to Launch Duty of Care Department for Online Gambling

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Dutch Regulator to Establish Dedicated Duty of Care Department for Online Gambling

The online gambling landscape in the Netherlands is set for significant changes. The Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Dutch gambling regulator, is taking bold steps to ensure operators adhere to their responsibilities.

Learn about the KSA’s new Duty of Care Department, aimed at intensifying supervision and enforcement to protect players from excessive gambling risks.

Discover how this initiative will enhance regulatory oversight, ensure compliance, and foster a safer gambling environment in the Netherlands.

Stay informed about the upcoming regulatory changes and how they might affect both operators and players in the Dutch online gambling market.

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Dutch Regulator to Establish Dedicated Duty of Care Department for Online Gambling

The Netherlands is taking decisive action to strengthen the regulation of its online gambling market. René Jansen, chairman of Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), announced at the Gaming in Holland conference in Amsterdam that the Dutch gambling regulator will establish a new Online Duty of Care Department. This initiative is a response to instances of excessive gambling, highlighting the need for stricter oversight to ensure operators fulfill their duty of care.

A New Department Focused on Player Protection

The KSA’s new department will exclusively monitor online gambling operators’ compliance with their duty of care obligations. The department is set to begin operations on September 1 and will be staffed by ten to fifteen new employees. This move underscores the KSA’s commitment to taking swift and decisive action against operators who fail to protect players adequately.

René Jansen emphasized the urgency and importance of this new department: “Not only have we now introduced a new policy rule, but we are also going to step up our supervision of the operators’ duty of care. To this end we are setting up a temporary Online Duty of Care department, which will focus entirely on supervising that aspect of the legislation and regulations.

Enhancing Regulatory Oversight

The new department will adopt a proactive approach, issuing warning letters and imposing significant sanctions when necessary. The aim is to take “short and sharp hits” to quickly address any non-compliance and ensure operators meet their obligations. This proactive stance is part of the KSA’s broader strategy to enhance regulatory oversight and protect players from the risks associated with excessive gambling.

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Jansen, whose tenure ends in September, added: “This additional supervising department is currently being set up and we have committed to it being operational by the first of September. The process will involve recruiting between ten and fifteen new members of staff. As you will no doubt understand, supervising operators’ compliance with their obligations is our top priority.

Addressing Industry Concerns

Jansen also discussed other pressing issues in his speech, including proposed advertising restrictions and potential increases in gambling taxes. He echoed concerns from operators that higher taxes could drive players to unlicensed sites if operators pass on the additional costs.

On the topic of advertising, Jansen noted the difficulties in enforcing the current regulations, which require that at least 95% of online ads target consumers aged 24 or older. He suggested that advertising is crucial for distinguishing licensed operators from unlicensed ones, and he expressed the need for ongoing discussions with the Ministry of Justice and Security to address these challenges.

Preparing for Major Sporting Events

Looking ahead to major sporting events like Euro 2024 and the Paris Olympics, Jansen warned operators to remain vigilant and compliant. He emphasized that the KSA would be closely monitoring activities and ready to take quick action against any violations.

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He stated: “Because I also know that competition is fierce, I don’t rule out the possibility of there being operators who nevertheless try to push the boundaries and possibly even go beyond them. That’s where we, as the KSA, will have to be very much on the ball, just as we were during the last World Cup in Qatar. We will focus on quick interventions and short, sharp hits to stop any violations in their tracks. Major or repeated infringements may also result in penalty proceedings.

New Responsible Gambling Rules

In addition to the establishment of the Duty of Care Department, the Dutch regulator has published new responsible gambling rules in the official gazette. These measures include financial checks when players deposit more than specific amounts. From October 1, operators must implement these checks when players aged 18 to 24 deposit over €300, or when players aged over 24 deposit more than €700. This phased approach allows operators time to adjust their IT systems and staffing accordingly.

Conclusion

The KSA’s establishment of the Online Duty of Care Department marks a significant step forward in the regulation of online gambling in the Netherlands. This initiative, coupled with new responsible gambling rules, reflects the regulator’s commitment to protecting players and ensuring a fair and transparent gambling environment. As the industry prepares for these changes, both operators and players will need to stay informed and adapt to the evolving regulatory landscape.

By reinforcing its regulatory framework, the KSA aims to set a new standard for duty of care in the online gambling sector, safeguarding the interests of Dutch players and promoting responsible gambling practices.

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Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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