The Dutch gambling authority de Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) plans to issue tighter controls for responsible gambling at the same time it proposes updated legislation and regulations to the Ministry of Justice & Security, which it is a part of, iGaming Business recently reported.
These changes come as the KSA has just completed a study on duty of care shown by licensed online gaming platforms that found serious holes in protections to keep players from “serious damage.”
Partially because online operators are often too slow to intervene, KSA has announced new measures. René Jansen, chairman of the KSA, said in a statement, “Online gambling providers are failing to intervene in a timely manner with customers who are showing signs of problem gambling.”
The KSA study investigated responsible gambling protocols and exchanges between consumers and 10 online operators who are licensed in the Netherlands market and have been operating at least six months in the market by June 1, 2022.
KSA requested data on player monitoring, internal protocols, consumer data and addiction prevention from the operators. The regulator analyzed distribution of losses and playing time. It also asked for two player files per operator: one of a young adult and one of a player 24 or older.
KSA encountered difficulties comparing the operators because of differences in policies, organization and carrying out policies. There were even differences in how they monitored gambling behavior.
The regulator did find that most operators used fixed limit values that were monitored and calculated often enough to make “almost real-time monitoring possible.”
The red flag KSA has raised is that the operators don’t act fast enough when players display signs of gambling addiction. This is due to faulty methodology for identifying such customers and a paucity of real-time monitoring. Practically speaking, this means customers have plenty of time to display signs of addiction before it is noticed.
The study also said operators focus on deposits and bet amounts when they should also be looking closely at hours spent gambling.
The new rules include: requirement to monitor customers real-time; adding indicators in assessing gaming behavior to include how much time spent gambling; and mandatory block of problem players’ accounts until an intervention can be done.
The KSA will update its responsible gaming policy to make sure that all licensees are aware of duty of care requirements. But it feels that the law needs to be amended to include these policies and has recommended that to the ministry.
Jansen commented, “The KSA puts safe play first. We receive worrying signals and, as a supervisory authority, we investigate providers who may far exceed the limits of their duty of care. If we notice this, we will intervene. With this research we see where, outside of these signals, providers are not doing well.”
The Netherlands Online Gambling Association (NOGA) noted that it supports KSA wanting to bring the law in line with its regulations.
It stated: “Research by KSA into the interpretation of the duty of care among ten admitted providers shows that in this new market there are too large differences between the way in which the providers examined fulfill the duty of care.” It added, “The KSA is therefore tightening its policy and making recommendations to the ministry of justice and security to clarify the legislation and regulations. NOGA supports these recommendations.”