Addicted gamblers poorly protected by Dutch gaming websites
Dutch gambling websites like Toto, Kansino and Betcity don't always successfully intervene when a player shows signs of addiction. People with gambling problems have tens of thousands of euros per month since gambling sites began legally operating on Oct. 1, 2021, according to Pointer.
These gambling websites are required by law to help prevent addiction. Minister Franc Weerwind (Legal Protection) said it was "disconcerting" to learn that this is not always the case.
One player gambled away more than 40,000 euros on Toto without the website stepping in, Pointer found. In fact, the player said that Toto allowed the player to continue and tried to make contact, in hopes the player would stay on the site and not turn to illegal gambling. Toto denies this, saying it contacted the player eight times, but received no response.
Former gambling addicts told Pointer that people struggling with gambling addiction might simply ignore or lie their way out of a phone call or email from the gambling website. Or they might move to another website.
Weerwind suggested protecting players by placing limits on the amount a person can lose per month, and making those limit apply across websites. This way, if a player lost too much money on Betcity, they could not simply switch to Toto to continue gambling. However, privacy legislation could prevent this protocol.
"If there are more examples of players really shooting out, then we have a really big problem," Weerwind said.
Right now, there are only around 650,000 accounts on legal gaming websites and only a small percentage of people appear to struggle with addiction, according to Pointer. It is also possible for people to put themselves on a register where they will be refused at legal casinos altogether, to prevent them from gambling.