KSA investigates how licensees prevent problem gambling
The Kansspelautoriteit recently investigated several of its licensees’ problem gambling prevention efforts, which highlighted that there is room for improvement.
In the gambling market of the Netherlands, licensed operators are required to limit the harms of gambling and work toward preventing addictions as much as possible. This requirement is part of the legal duty of care set out by the Kansspelautoriteit, which also includes a variety of other regulations and recommendations surrounding the requirement.
The regulatory authority recently initiated an investigation to gauge how its licensees comply with the duty, which predominantly focused on the first 10 operators that entered the market since its launch back in 2021. This study found that many of the investigated gambling companies were lacking in their prevention efforts, often not being able to contact players exhibiting signs of gambling harm in a timely manner.
Many of the operators also utilized inadequate strategies for detecting problem gamblers. One case highlighted by the Kansspelautoriteit involved firms only monitoring changes in gambling behavior, meaning that new users that spend unreasonable amounts of money on the pastime would not get detected in time or sometimes at all. Additionally, the authority also added that some operators focused too much on one variable, such as total spending on the pastime, ignoring others that could indicate problem gambling like excessive playtime.
The KSA also focused on the prevention of gambling problems in younger players with this study, which found that many of the lower spending limits that operators assign to users under the ages of 24 and sometimes 30 often interfere with their problem gambling detection methods which rely solely on gambling spending.
As a result of this investigation, the Kansspelautoriteit will be strengthening its regulations surrounding gambling harm prevention, with many new requirements already proposed, such as a mandate for real-time monitoring of players. The authority also aims to implement a set of standard variables for operators to look for when assessing a user’s behavior, along with a requirement to block a suspected problem gambler’s account until they get contacted.