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Licensed operators in the Netherlands could face more regulatory headwinds before the end of the year with loss limits increasingly likely to be introduced.

In a letter dated 1 June 2023, Dutch Minister for Legal Protection Franc Weerwind revealed that potential playing limits would be a major focus in the coming months in a move to prevent gambling addiction.

Weerwind has already delivered legislation to ban above-the-line gambling advertising in the Netherlands from 1 July and he is now the driving force behind further restrictions.

The letter “extensively discusses” the development of further rules in the field of playing limits, including the possibility of an upper limit for licensed operators to adhere to.

Draft regulation on this topic was originally expected by mid-2023. This has now been postponed until the end of 2023 as more research is required, according to Weerwind, with two in-depth studies ongoing.

“The exploration that has been carried out for this shows that in-depth research is needed to arrive at effective measures,” wrote Weerwind.

“This goes beyond just setting a limit. The drafting of regulations will take more time pending the results of these studies and I expect to have the outlines ready by the end of 2023,” he added.

The Minister revealed that discussions on this topic have been held with both Dutch and foreign scientists, while a literature study has also been carried out.

“It has become clear to me that separate measures such as only an upper limit for playing limits are insufficiently effective to prevent excessive gambling behaviour.”
Dutch Minister for Legal Protection Franc Weerwind

“From this it has become clear to me that separate measures such as only an upper limit for playing limits are insufficiently effective to prevent excessive gaming behaviour,” Weerwind continued.

“Additional preventive measures are necessary for an effective approach. With this in mind, I want to do more and develop a broad package of measures that can be introduced in a relatively short period of time,” he added.

Improving the country’s national self-exclusion register Cruks will also be a key area of focus for both the government and the gambling regulator (KSA) for the remainder of this year.

The letter was penned to provide an update on the country’s regulated online gambling market after more than a year and a half in operation.

It was also sent to the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Weerwind’s writing included the latest channelisation estimate from the KSA, which now stands at 92%. This means that nine in every 10 players have opted to play in the regulated market.

In full-year 2022, the KSA dealt with seven unlicensed operators with fines totalling €29m.

In addition, five orders subject to periodic penalty payments were imposed, while providers in a further 40 cases adjusted their behaviour under the threat of sanctions.

The full letter can be accessed here.

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