Netherlands’ KSA Implements Affordability Checks and Strengthened Player Protection

The Netherlands’ gambling regulator, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has announced significant updates to the country’s Responsible Gaming Policy Rules. These changes aim to enhance player protection and promote responsible gambling practices, set to take effect in a few months.

One of the key changes involves the introduction of affordability checks for gamblers. Under the new rules, operators must conduct these checks for players aged 18 to 24 who deposit €300 ($330) or more. For individuals aged 24 and older, the threshold is set at €700 ($760).

Operators will need to verify if these players can afford their gambling expenditures. If a player cannot demonstrate their ability to afford the deposits, the operator must enforce a mandatory block on the player’s account for the remainder of the month. This measure is designed to prevent excessive gambling and protect consumers from potential harm.

Enhanced Monitoring and Rapid Intervention

Besides affordability checks, the new regulations impose stricter requirements for real-time monitoring of player activities. Operators must monitor, analyze, detect, and intervene in suspected cases of problem gambling. The response time for such interventions is set to be very short; operators must contact the player within one hour of detecting risky behavior.

Furthermore, operators are required to maintain 24/7 availability to ensure continuous player protection. This round-the-clock duty ensures that operators can promptly address any issues related to problem gambling, enhancing the overall safety of the online gaming environment.

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Recognizing the significant changes these new rules entail, the KSA has provided operators with a grace period to comply. The new measures, including the enhanced duty of care and spending checks, will be enforced starting October 1, 2024. This allows iGaming providers time to update their systems and potentially hire additional staff to meet the new requirements.

The KSA’s updated policy follows extensive consultation with stakeholders in the gambling sector. The regulator’s proactive approach aims to balance the need for robust player protection with the operational realities of online gambling operators.

How these changes will impact the gambling industry in the Netherlands remains to be seen. However, the KSA’s commitment to creating a safer online gaming market is clear. As the KSA stated, “Today the Gaming Authority (KSA) publishes the amended Responsible Gaming Policy Rule. The KSA is thus taking a major step towards realizing a safer online gaming market.”

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