With Regulation on the Docket Again, the Dutch Government has a Chance to Regain Control

Published February 16, 2019 by Lee R

With Regulation on the Docket Again, the Dutch Government has a Chance to Regain Control

With so many players in the Dutch market, new research indicates that new technology can help offset growing inability to control problem play.

Illegal gambling continues to grow as a concern in the Netherlands.

Increased Illegal Gambling

A new report commissioned by Holland Casino indicates that the number of people gambling illegally in the Netherlands has reached 20% in the last two years.

New Vote Incoming

One week in advance of the Dutch Senate's long-awaited revisitation of the legalisation of online gambling, research and strategy consultancy Motivaction surveying 18,000 Dutch citizens concluded that the number of people betting with unlicensed sites in the Netherlands is up to 1.8m people for an increase of 300,000 from 2016.

Valuating the Market

Motivaction further pointed out that the rise in the number of illegal players does not affect market value, which Motivaction placed at an approximate and steadied €600m annually.

More figures qualifying indicate frequent players as those who play more than seven times a year indicate that two thirds of these players still prefer to play with licensed operators if they could.

Lost Revenues?

The study also estimates the Dutch Treasury to be missing out on some €175m in tax revenue annually in absence of a regulated model since regulation stalled three years ago.

Speaking Out Against Unlicenced Play

One person expressing hopes for regulation this time around is Holland Casino Director Erwin van Lambaart, who runs the state-owned company holding a legal monopoly on gambling in the Netherlands:

"More and more Dutch people gamble totally unprotected on the internet...with international providers...who do not pay gambling tax and that is unfair competition."

Dutch Government Response

To this end, the Dutch government has disclosed it is resuming the process with the goal of introducing new regulation by the year 2020, which should be an encouraging sign for many who had given up hope for Dutch regulation.

The prevailing logic at this juncture has a majority of Senators backing legislation and a regulation model for licence application.

Grounds for Real Optimism

Increased optimism stems from the fact that Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker has proposed additional measures to reduce the risk of problem gambling.

More hope lies with Van Lambaart's identification of in-house technology developed by Holland Casino to identify problem gambling:

"Smart algorithms in the software allow us to immediately see if someone's playing pattern changes drastically,” he explained.

Unlicensed Play Rampant

With Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) issuing record fines of €1.7m (£1.5m/$1.9m) to companies in violation of rules and regulations throughout 2018, the time for a Dutch regulation model appears to have arrived.

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