The current make-up of the Nederlandse Loterij could be under threat as the country considers a switch away from state-owned companies, according to the Dutch regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA).
Speaking during the European Lotteries/World Lotteries Association CSR-Responsible Gaming seminar in Amsterdam on Thursday 22 September, KSA Chairman Rene Jansen raised the prospect of removing state ownership in the gambling industry.
Jansen questioned: “Would the Netherlands, in the year 2022, still present the idea of a State Lottery if it wished – without historical baggage – to create a system for lotteries?
“It is a current topic. The Dutch Minister of Finance, Sigrid Kaag, said earlier this month during a meeting in our Parliament that an evaluation will take place on state-ownership of Holland Casino, the land based casino games monopoly, and the state-owned Nederlandse Loterij, our host today.
“More information about this will be announced next year. The role of legal monopolies will undoubtedly be discussed in that context.”
The KSA Chairman also discussed a number of other key topics, noting that the KSA has decided to increase its monitoring and supervision of operators and the level of their duty of care towards players.
To this end, Sweden has been name-checked by Jansen as a leading example.
“Personally, I am charmed by the Swedish approach: a legal obligation to investigate.
“This means that operators are obliged to contact a player when he or she sets a loss limit of higher than around €930 a month.
“An investigation must then show whether the gambler can afford this and whether possible gambling problems are developing or already exist.
“The international research also showed that applying aggregate limits, meaning an overarching limit that includes all operators, may seem more logical but is very hard to implement in practice.”
The Central Register of Exclusion of Gaming (CRUKS) already exists in the Netherlands, and has registered over 20,000 users since its launch last year as it aims to tighten the requirements in the field of addiction prevention.
But the KSA wants to see more being done to protect players.
Jansen added: “I am increasingly questioning myself whether the Netherlands also shouldn’t move towards a stricter implementation of the duty of care by using limits established in legislation.
“The open norms that are currently in place – with the idea that some people can afford more than others or have more time to play than others – seem not to work adequately enough in practice.
“The Minister has already shown that he will not hesitate to act if operators do not take their responsibility seriously enough.”