The Netherlands’ National Rapporteur on Addictions (Nationaal Rapporteur Verslavingen – NRV), has published a report with 22 recommendations on how to limit and prevent gambling-related harm.
The report proposes the introduction of several far-reaching measures, such cross-operator deposit limits, making operators liable if they fail to carry out their duty of care, slowing down online slot games, introducing additional gambling advertising restrictions.
The 22 recommendations are based on discussions with “a large number of stakeholders,” as well as a perceived significant increase in the number of online gamblers since the Netherlands’ regulated online gambling market opened in October 2021.
Licensed operators, however, were deliberately excluded from these discussions, as even talking to them would endanger the independence of the advice, the rapporteur said.
Björn Fuchs, Chief Digital Officer at Janshen-Hahnraths Group and board member of trade association VNLOK, criticised the rapporteur’s refusal to meet with gambling operators. Even more importantly, Fuchs also pointed out that the assumption that most players in the regulated online gambling market did not gamble online before is at least questionable and may very well be untrue – especially if long-term player behaviour prior to the arbitrary cut-off date of June 2021 is also considered. Not all active players are active every month.
Naturally, if there has been no drastic increase in the number of online players, the proposed measures may very well be disproportionate.