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Fiona Simmons June 27, 2022 3 min read
Dutch Gambling Regulator Boss Tells Companies to Self-Regulate Better
Self-regulation could have been a panacea for many gambling markets across Europe, but alas, brands are always doubling down on player acquisition, and it’s an instinct that is difficult to overcome. This is why Dutch Gambling Authority (KSA) boss Rene Jansen is not entirely convinced whether operators are even able to uphold unspoken rules that are not inscribed in strict policies.
Jansen Calls on Stakeholders to Step Up
In fact, Jansen suggested that many operators in the newly-regulated market in the Netherlands were after a quick profit at the expense of Dutch players. Whether this is the case is another matter altogether, but if the KSA boss is criticizing the current conduct of operators, this should raise some worries in the industry. And it has.
Jansen’s blog post shared on the KSA’s website was not all critical of current developments. He acknowledged that the market was doing well, but argued that there is more work to be done in order to ensure that all operators are protecting consumers.
He openly suggested that some operators are not complying with the Remote Gambling Act, the cornerstone legislation that makes gambling in the Netherlands possible. Jansen’s criticism was particularly directed at operators who find loopholes to maximize profitability.
So far, Dutch authorities have been fairly lenient when it comes to meting out punishments. They have not come down too hard on gambling companies nor named offenders in public, but this is likely to begin changing as the KSA’s store of goodwill is running dangerously thin. Jansen raised an important question though and asked whether the industry can truly self-regulate and be trusted to act responsibly towards consumers without too much oversight.
Jansen did not offer a definitive answer, but he instead outlined the principles of what such behavior should look like. Operators’ behavior should change from making a quick buck without consideration for the potentially harmful effects of gambling to one where the customer’s well-being and safety are the main focus.
Jansen previously spoke at Gaming In Holland, an industry conference reuniting stakeholders, legislators, and other industry participants. His tone was not any milder there and he urged operators to either make sure they meet market conditions and protect consumers or be faced with the obvious choice – government intervention.
Multiple Changes Coming to Market Already
Advertisement has also come under fire, with the KSA launching a study to better understand how gambling addiction occurs and what drives it. Jansen assured that should the government find a reason to, it would intervene to the benefit of consumers.
In the end, Jansen acknowledged that the question is not of whether legalizing betting and iGaming were a mistake, but rather how to make sure that the industry exists in harmony with consumer standards. Through legalization, the Netherlands is able to guide and steer gambling companies towards safer practices that ultimately help players stay safe.
He reminded that all stakeholders must ensure that consumers are safe and protected. Should they fail to do so, then things can go in a completely different way, Jansen ended on a well-weighed and ominous note wrapping up the blog post.
The regulator has been equally focused on the operators that run gambling businesses as well as the affiliates that crucial services to driving traffic and interest. A role model ban on promoting gambling products to younger generations turning to personalities popular with those target groups is also looming in the country and will come into effect in July.
Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.