Franc Weerwind, Dutch minister for legal protection who is also responsible for gambling legislation, was questioned by MPs regarding the possible introduction of obligatory loss limits for gamblers.
Weerwind’s Pragmatic Approach
Weerwind’s answers, which discarded mandatory restrictions on losses, showed that the minister has a balanced and pragmatic approach to gambling regulations. MPs Michael van Nispen and Mirjam Bikker were the ones asking questions about the introduction of loss limits but the minister opined that such restrictions will only make gamblers bet on multiple provider platforms and possibly revert to the illegal market as well. He also stated that he believed the current rules, under which players set their own gambling limits, are the best option for the time being. Weerwind highlighted:
“When drafting the law, it was decided to let players set their own limits. This choice is based on experiences from addiction care and various studies that show that the possibility for players to make well-informed choices about their gaming behavior is an effective prevention method. Therefore, I want to keep to this principle of self-limitation.”
Dutch minister for legal protection Franc Weerwind
The questions from MPs regarding the loss limits were provoked by a suggestion from the chair of the Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), René Jansen, that such restrictions are about to be introduced.
Weerwind Is Researching Different Options
The Dutch minister is trying to achieve a fine balance of measures that are not that tough but are also strict enough in order to ensure a safe and sustainable gambling market in the Netherlands. Weerwind did not dismiss restrictions on losses completely but has stated that he wants to conduct research into the technical possibilities of introducing loss limits on the market as a whole. If that is possible, an investigation into this opportunity has to be made in terms of privacy regulations.
Additional questions from MPs touched upon controls of advertising in the sector. The use of role models in gambling ads was prohibited on June 30. MPs are now waiting for new rules that will ban the untargeted ads for gambling games of high risk. However, Weerwind has stressed that gambling advertising is important as it helps players distinguish between legalized and unlawful gambling providers. The minister has also denied that there will be a limit to the granted licenses to online gambling providers.
Online sports betting and casino games were recently made legal in the Netherlands with the gambling regulations coming into force on April 1, 2021, and the official market launch taking place on October 1, 2021.