Franc Weerwind, the Netherlands’ minister for legal protection appears to have ruled out the possibility that the government would intervene to impose mandatory loss limits on the country’s newly regulated online gaming market.
Answering questions in parliament, the minister, whose remit covers gambling, said mandatory limits would simply make customers spread their play over several operators or turn to the unlicensed market. MPs Michael van Nispen and Mirjam Bikker had questioned Weerwind on the topic.
He responded that he believed the best option was the current situation in which players must set their own loss limits when they create accounts with gaming operators. His response appears to go against comments made by René Jansen, chair of the Dutch regulator, the KSA, who suggested in a speech last month that the government could impose loss limits.
He said: “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 behaviour is an effective prevention method. Therefore, I want to keep to this principle of self-limitation.
“I believe that too strict limits can lead to avoidance behaviour by players, causing them to play with multiple providers at the same time, or even to swerve to illegal offers, which endangers the channeling. I will also investigate whether technology has progressed so far that a mode can be found for the provider exceeding playing limits, technically and from a privacy point of view.”
The MPs also questioned Weerwind once more about controls over gambling advertising. MPs are waiting for a ban on untargeted ads for high-risk games, but Weerwind ruled out a suggestion that new licence approvals be suspended until the ban comes into force. A ban on the use of role models in adverts came into effect on June 30.