Dutch minister considering stake and time limits for online gaming

Dutch MPs have been calling for tighter restrictions on online gambling.
Dutch MPs have been calling for tighter restrictions on online gambling.

Minister for legal protection Franc Weerwind is evaluating new restrictions amid calls for tighter controls on the newly regulated online gaming market.

The Netherlands.- Minister for Legal Protection Franc Weerwind has told Dutch MPs that he will consider the introduction of mandatory stake and time limits for Netherlands’ newly regulated online gambling market. His announcement comes as MPs continue to call for tighter controls on the market, which opened on October 2.

Weerwind said he was looking at the option in an update to the Dutch parliament, where several motions have sought change in the sector within just months of its launch. 

At the moment all players must set their own limits when they create an online gambling account with a licensed operator. However, the Dutch regulator de Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has observed that some operators allowed players to set very high limits, going against the rule’s objective.

Weerwind told parliament: “I want to investigate two options: setting a maximum to the existing limits and examining whether a limit can apply across all providers. For privacy reasons, it was not decided in the Gambling Act to monitor gaming behaviour, including playing limits, across all providers, but I am now investigating whether technology has advanced to such an extent that this mode can still be found specifically for playing limits.”

Questions on proposed Dutch ban on gambling ads

Weerwind also addressed further questions from MPs about a motion presented by the MP Michael van Nipsen, which called for a complete ban on untargeted gambling advertising.

The Socialist Party and ChristianUnie have criticised Weerwind for delaying the introduction of a ban. Weerwind has said that he will make changes as soon as possible but that some advertising was necessary to avoid negative effects on channelisation.

He said: “The objective of the Remote Gambling Act is to guide players to a legal offering of games of chance. This requires some form of advertising.

“I am of the opinion that it would be good to map out the broader social costs and benefits. I am therefore exploring the possibilities of a social cost-benefit analysis.”

He added that the government was now evaluating allowing online ads only within specified time limits.

He said: “I would like to ensure that the advertising offer does not largely move to the online environment. That is why I will look at possibilities to include a time window for online banners and videos in the Decree on recruitment, advertising and addiction prevention.”

See also: KSA chief René Jansen claims success in reducing illegal gambling

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