Online gambling providers call for better protection for problem gamblers
One year after online gambling became legal in the Netherlands, providers are calling for more rules to protect problem gamblers from themselves. Holland Casino suggested aftercare conversations after a gambling ban. Toto wants industry-wide gambling limits, AD reports.
Online gambling provers must monitor players for risky behavior. But according to Holland Casino, more is needed. “People who play online or in one of our branches for the first time after a gambling ban must first have an aftercare conversation,” director Petra de Ruiter said to the newspaper.
De Ruiter said it is impossible for casinos to know whether someone was put on the gambling ban register and wasn’t allowed to play games of chance. She wants the Gambling Authority to make that possible so that casinos can check in with customers who have a problem.
Toto is advocating for an industry-wide gambling limit. “At Toto, we use a maximum loss of 400 euros per month for 18 to 23-year-olds,” spokesperson Thomas van Vessem of the Dutch Lottery, which Toto falls under, said to AD. “But if someone reaches that amount, they can continue playing elsewhere.” A uniform, industry-wide loss limit could help with that. “If someone loses 200 euros with us, he can only lose 200 euros elsewhere.”
The Gambling Authority is optimistic about an aftercare discussion like proposed by Holland Casino but added that it is up to the government to implement that. “Because it concerns the personal data of players, it requires a change in the law,” a spokesperson said to AD. He also called Toto’s proposed gambling limit a good idea.
The industry clubs Licensed Online Gaming Providers (VNLOK) and the Netherlands Online Gambling Association (NOGA) support the idea of an aftercare interview but are against industry-wide limits.
NOGA called it a “difficult puzzle.” “On the one hand, you want to protect gamblers from gambling too much money. At the same time, you don’t want to scare people away. There are thousands of illegal providers online that don’t ask for identification or how old you are.”
One year after online gambling became legal, the Netherlands counts 22 licensed online gambling providers with 563,000 active accounts at these companies. On average, an online gambler loses 153 euros per month, the Gambling Authority said last week.