Dutch Gaming Authority to Enhance Duty of Care in Gaming Halls

The Dutch gaming regulator, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), intends to reinforce the duty of care at gaming halls across the country by leveraging the results of recent investigations. This initiative comes after the December 2023 and January 2024 inspections carried out by KSA inspectors.

The KSA went to 20 casinos to see how they applied duty of care protocols. The KSA found areas that needed improvement, even though the majority of gambling halls shown some dedication to these regulations. The authority acknowledged having taken steps to ensure compliance with the KOA Act, which limits and prevents gambling addiction. Nevertheless, the goals of the strategy were frequently not met in practice.

“It is striking that the personal circumstances and playing behavior of regular players are (more or less) known. But there is sometimes a lack of actually addressing players, registering signals and interventions, and intervening in the arcades examined,” said the authority.

Areas for Improvement

A notable issue was the absence of caps on the maximum amount of time spent playing, particularly in 24-hour arcades. Although the KSA observed that extended playing durations were seen as a “worrying signal,” the procedures for keeping an eye on this were unclear. The KSA believed that a maximum playing time was essential for venues without natural stopping spots, but none of the locations they looked into had one.

Furthermore, while not strictly forbidden, playing on numerous machines and making reservations at slot machines are permitted in all examined gaming halls and may encourage compulsive gaming. Some locations failed to sufficiently monitor other behaviors suggestive of compulsive gaming, such as regular visits and a high volume of debit card purchases.

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After the inspections, the gambling halls received letters from the KSA outlining specific areas for improvement at each site.

The KSA said that guidance for all permit holders will be provided later this year. This guidance will elaborate on the identified points and emphasize the duty of care in arcades. The KSA will also increase its monitoring to ensure compliance with these enhanced measures.

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