In recent years, a lot has changed around the legislation of online casinos. Where previously there was little to no legislation about online casinos, that has changed considerably in recent years. Each country has its own regulated market for online casino players. It often means that you can no longer play in online casinos that do not have a license from a country in question. For example, it is the intention that players from the Netherlands only play in online casinos with a Dutch license from the Gaming Authority (Ksa).

As is often the case, the government cannot keep up with the pace of the online casino world. The government has no control over gamblers at all and in recent years has placed all responsibility on the online casino companies. The last example we see since 1 October 2021 in the Netherlands. Since that date, online casinos in the Netherlands are legal. That is of course good for the Dutch online gambler and also for the government’s state treasury. Because the government does place all responsibility for addiction prevention with the casino companies and is happy to collect the (too high) gambling tax.

Is it right that all responsibility with regard to gambling prevention lies with the casino companies?

We do not think so. As previously written, the government has no control over the gamblers, so they put that task in the hands of the casino companies. Since 1 October, both the online casinos and the slot machine halls are obliged to check all visitors whether they occur in Cruks (Central Register exclusion of games of chance). That we have a good thing. Players who want to unsubscribe can no longer gamble anywhere. Both non-online casino and in the land-based casinos.

But we also hear that the Cruks system is not yet completely watertight. The registration in the register and the control of the casino companies is very close. Visitors with dual nationalities, residence documents and visitors without a known date of birth are a big problem for the casino companies and therefore the control. The annoying thing is that the casino companies are held accountable by the failing government.

What is striking is the whole discussion about addiction prevention is that since 1 October 2021 there are suddenly a lot of ‘experts’ in this field. Many political, often left-wing parties, and other entrepreneurs are only now seeing how big this market is and how much money is involved. One expert has an even better solution to addiction policy than another. But no matter how we look at it, as long as the government can’t keep up with the pace of this industry, it won’t work out and the frustration of the entrepreneurs will only grow.

The responsibility of online casinos

Dutch Government

The annoyance among the non-gambling Dutch started of course with the excess of gambling advertisements. We have to admit, it could have been a little less. But that is also entrepreneurship and as a casino company ‘buy’ your market share. Again, the left-wing parties did not know what to do to shout that this should be banned. But rules had already been made for making TV commercials in particular. Only after 21:00 in the evening and a certain number of advertisements per commercial break.

Also, the famous Dutch like Wesley Sneijder, Wim Kieft, Andy van der Meijde will soon no longer appear in advertisements. Quite hypocritical, because who started gambling advertisements with famous Dutch people? Exactly the government with King Toto. This also has to do with the slowness of making gambling policy at a government. We are already seeing a shift from TV commercials to, for example, the football world. All online gambling companies can be found along the Dutch football fields in the Eredivisie. You can also no longer drive past a bus shelter or there is advertising for an online casino.

As we wrote earlier, we do not think it is right that all responsibility lies with the gambling companies. Why does not speak, even the expert, about the responsibility of the gambler himself. Why is it always the casino’s fault if a visitor loses € 10,000? We wonder how it is possible that someone has a budget of € 10,000 to play. Then you’ll be able to miss it, right? Should an online casino ask every visitor if they send a copy of a bank statement to check whether it is justified? As is often the case, it goes much too far and we go all the way again in the Netherlands. Now the government has been working on the Gambling Act (KoA Act) for years, but they will certainly have to adjust this law, because that is not how it will work.

We have of course seen how smoking has been banned in the Netherlands. No commercials, almost no longer for sale. You’re almost treated like a criminal when you smoke. To a lesser extent, we see this with booze. If we get 2 crates of beer from a supermarket 4 times a week, no one will ask us anything. The advertisements of beer and drinks still pass by in large numbers. You can buy your own drinks with a discount! Compare it with an attractive welcome bonus at an online casino. Only players from the age of 24 are allowed to use this pass. You buy alcohol since you are 18 years old. And we could go on and on.

Our conclusion

Our conclusion, at the beginning of June 2022, is that government still has a lot of work to do in the online casino world. It is advisable to separate the legislation for the online casinos and the slot machine halls and Holland casino. It’s a totally different world. Furthermore, we find it too easy for the government and the ‘addiction expert’ to only point to the casino companies. Addiction experts who themselves give courses and training to staff of online casinos often have the highest word on how online casinos should deal with addiction prevention.

As with alcohol, drugs, gaming, there will always be gambling addicts. Of course we also hope that this number will be minimal. So the first step has been taken with the Koa Law. However, we do hope that this law, in consultation with the casino companies and the industry associations (VAN Kansspelen and Noga) will be adjusted so that it is workable for everyone. Both for the companies and the gamblers.

When the fun stops

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