Dinsdag 16 juli 2024

Speel bewust

Kansspelautoriteit zet nieuwe afdeling op voor toezicht op zorgplicht bij online casino’s

Kansspelautoriteit zet nieuwe afdeling op voor toezicht op zorgplicht bij online casino's René Jansen Kansspelautoriteit Gaming in Holland 2024

Er komt een speciale afdeling Online Zorgplicht bij de Kansspelautoriteit die zich alleen zal bezighouden met de invulling van de zorgplicht door online gokbedrijven. Dit vertelde René Jansen in zijn speech bij Gaming in Holland in Amsterdam vandaag. Ook liet Jansen weten dat de 95%-regel uit het Besluit Orka moeilijk te handhaven is. De toezichthouder is hierover in gesprek met het ministerie.

Vanaf 1 september gaat er een nieuwe afdeling van start bij de Kansspelautoriteit die zich alleen bezig zal houden met de zorgplicht bij online casino’s. Dit heeft René Jansen donderdag bekendgemaakt tijdens zijn speech bij Gaming in Holland te Amsterdam. Jansen sprak voor het laatst in deze setting, omdat hij bezig is aan zijn laatste maand als voorzitter van de Kansspelautoriteit.

Na een korte terugblik op zijn jaren als voorzitter bij de Kansspelautoriteit sprak Jansen de aanwezigen toe over verschillende onderwerpen die de kansspelindustrie bezighouden. Tijdens de terugblik beschreef hij onder andere voor de laatste keer de periode voorafgaand aan het openstellen van de online gokmarkt:

“Het was een ongelooflijk intensieve periode, waarin de Ksa enorm opschaalde en de hulp moest inroepen van een groot team van interne en externe experts om de bergen werk die gedaan moesten worden te verzetten. Het is misschien een goed idee om onszelf te herinneren aan de redenen voor al dat werk.”

René Jansen

Verder besprak de voorzitter onder andere over de nieuwe Beleidsregels Verantwoord Spelen die sinds maandag van kracht zijn. Hierdoor geldt er vanaf 1 oktober 2024 een stortingsdrempel, zoals Jansen het verwoord, waarbij aanbieders moeten ingrijpen als spelers meer dan deze grens storten in een kalendermaand.

De nieuwe regels waren volgens Jansen nodig, zeker na de verhalen die in de media verschenen over gokkers die grote bedragen verloren met online gokken. De Kansspelautoriteit stelt zichzelf ten doel om deze excessen terug te brengen naar 0, zo liet Jansen weten.

Tijdelijk een speciale afdeling voor toezicht op zorgplicht

De genoemde excessen wezen er ook op dat de zorgplicht onvoldoende werd ingevuld door legale online kansspelaanbieders in Nederland. Hierop stelde de toezichthouder een jaar geleden een onderzoek in naar de invulling van de zorgplicht.

Naast de nieuwe beleidsregels komt er ook een tijdelijke speciale afdeling binnen de Kansspelautoriteit die zich volledig zal richten op de zorgplicht bij online gokbedrijven:

“We hebben nu niet alleen een nieuwe beleidsregel ingevoerd, maar we gaan ook het toezicht op de zorgplicht van de operators intensiveren. Daartoe richten we een tijdelijke afdeling Online Zorgplicht op, die zich volledig gaat richten op het toezicht op dat aspect van de wet- en regelgeving.”

René Jansen

Voor de afdeling kan beginnen verwacht Jansen dat er nog tien tot vijftien nieuwe medewerkers aangenomen moeten worden. De Kansspelautoriteit wil per 1 september operationeel zijn met de nieuwe afdeling.

De afdeling Online Zorgplicht gaat volgens Jansen kort en krachtig optreden wanneer aanbieders zich niet aan de zorgplicht houden. Dit kan bijvoorbeeld zijn door waarschuwingsbrieven uit te vaardigen, maar door het opleggen van boetes en andere sancties.

“Ik moet bekennen dat ik me oprecht zorgen maak over de effecten van voorstellen zoals een fikse verhoging van de kansspelbelasting.”

Zorgen over moties rondom gokreclames

Ook uitte de afzwaaiend voorzitter zijn zorgen over de aangenomen motie rondom reclame voor online kansspelen. Nadat eerder een motie voor een totaalverbod niet op een meerderheid kon rekenen werd enkele weken later een motie aangenomen om online reclame voor online gokken te verbieden. Om ervoor te zorgen dat spelers weten of een spel of aanbieder legaal is of niet zou er volgens Jansen wel een vorm van reclame nodig zijn voor de legale gokbedrijven.

“Als het aan een meerderheid van de Kamer ligt, worden alle gokreclames verboden, maar ik heb al eerder mijn twijfels geuit of dat wel opportuun is. Dit komt mede door de memorie van toelichting bij de Wet kansspelen op afstand, waar ik net uit citeerde: door vergunninghouders in staat te stellen een passend en aantrekkelijk spelaanbod aan te bieden, ontstaat een situatie waarin Nederlandse spelers niet meer met illegale aanbieders in zee hoeven te gaan.”

René Jansen

Een ander onderwerpen waar Jansen zich zorgen over maakt zijn de verhoging van de kansspelbelasting en de motie van Van Nispen om zeer hoog risico kansspelen te verbieden. Hij liet weten zich ‘oprecht zorgen te maken’ over de effecten van deze voorstellen. Ook de zorgen van de kansspelindustrie over een groeiende illegale online gokmarkt worden gehoord. De Kansspelautoriteit neemt deze dreiging serieus, zo verzekerde Jansen.

“Als toezichthouder, met onze missie ‘Veilig gokken’ in gedachten, zijn wij ervan overtuigd dat spelers veel beter af zijn in een markt met een vergunning.”

René Jansen

‘95%-regel moeilijk te handhaven’

Tot slot liet de voorzitter weten dat het Besluit Orka ook de nodigde problemen heeft opgeleverd voor de Kansspelautoriteit. Het ongerichte reclame verbod stelde strenge eisen aan online reclame. Online gokbedrijven moesten verzekeren dat hun reclame op internet voor minimaal 95% terecht zou komen bij consumenten van 24 jaar of ouder.

Dit is in de praktijk moeilijk te beheren; ‘Niet alleen wat betreft de uitvoering, maar ook wat betreft het toezicht,’ aldus Jansen. De Kansspelautoriteit is in gesprek met het ministerie van Justitie en Veiligheid over de moeilijkheden die het Besluit met zich mee brengt.

Jansen liet weten dat het toezicht zich vooral zal richten op de verplichting om mensen de mogelijkheid te bieden zich uit te sluiten voor kansspelreclame. Hierover zal mogelijk in het najaar verdere guidance vanuit de toezichthouder komen. Hierna zal er streng worden toegezien op het naleven van deze regel.

Kansspelautoriteit zet nieuwe afdeling op voor toezicht op zorgplicht bij online casino's René Jansen Kansspelautoriteit Gaming in Holland 2024

Speech integraal (Engels)

Good morning, everybody,

First of all, I’d like to thank the organisers for allowing me to speak here once again. This will be the last time I do so in this setting, where we have already exchanged so many thoughts and ideas about the market. Today I would therefore like to examine the current state of the online market, but I certainly intend to reflect on the past and look ahead to the future as well. In the dynamic gambling market, there is always something going on, so it goes without saying that there is always plenty to talk about.

Let me start by reflecting on the start of my own adventure at the Kansspelautoriteit (Ksa), and the introduction of the Remote Gambling Act (Wet Kansspelen op Afstand, Koa). Given that you should never dwell too long on the past, I will then move on to reflect on the renewed Policy Rule on Responsible Gambling (Beleidsregel Verantwoord spelen) and the steps we are going to take in that area. Finally, I will remind you, for one last time, of your responsibilities and give you some advice for the future. I obviously can’t pass up that opportunity on this occasion.

When I took over as chairman of the Ksa in October 2018, we were about to prepare for the entry into force of the Remote Gambling Act and the opening up of the online market. While the previous Ksa Board had already done some preliminary work, the bill was still in the Senate at that time. Only in February 2019  did we get the go-ahead to prepare the licensing process. It was an incredibly intensive period, during which the Ksa scaled up enormously and had to enlist the help of a large team of internal and external experts to shift the mountains of work that had to be done. It is perhaps a good idea to remind ourselves of the reasons for all that work.

Opening of the online market

I would like to repeat a number of sentences from the explanatory memorandum that accompanied the Remote Gambling Act. First of all, we wanted to do something about illegal supply. After all, the borderless nature of the internet, the ongoing request of Dutch consumers for online gambling and rapid technological developments, among other things, meant that comprehensive enforcement was impossible without a responsible, reliable and controllable legal alternative. Addiction prevention was another important reason, given that preventing high-risk players from developing into problem players requires a licensing system that provides safeguards to protect against addiction risks. The continued advances in digitalisation and the massive and permanent use of mobile devices mean that these objectives, written in 2013, are at least as relevant in 2024 as they were eleven years ago. Now, almost six years after I started as chairman, we have twenty-nine licensed online gambling operators in a market that has grown year on year. With that growth also comes growing responsibility.

Policy Rule on Responsible Gambling

The mission of the Ksa is ‘gambling safely’, in line with the spirit of the Remote Gambling Act. Our job is to regulate the need for a reliable, controllable and responsible betting and gambling offering. Regulating the operators’ duty of care has started to play an increasingly important role in this respect. It was against that backdrop that we announced our intention to amend the Policy Rule on Responsible Gambling. That process is now complete, and we have worked hard to incorporate various elements of the extensive consultation responses, for example by creating scope for customisation and further clarifying or tightening certain requirements. The final policy rule has now been published and has therefore come into effect.

Among other things we have now set a net deposit cap per month at which point players will be asked for income details. The threshold is 300 euros for young adults and 700 euros for anyone over twenty-three. As a result, operators must now contact the player upon reaching that threshold and carry out an affordability check if the player wants to exceed that amount. The reason why we are doing this is to curb excessive gambling behaviour and it is also an important measure in terms of preventing addiction. The real-time monitoring obligation has also been introduced and requires operators to intervene within an hour in the event of potentially excessive gambling behaviour.

I am very proud that we have put this package of measures in place within such a short space of time and within the boundaries set by current legislation. Many of the sad stories we have seen and heard in recent years, including those relating to significant losses, could have been avoided if these measures had been implemented earlier. The Ksa’s aim is to reduce those excesses to zero in the future, for which the ball is now in the operators’ court. We hope that these revamped rules will serve as an additional impetus for operators to reassess and revise addiction prevention policies and the way their duty of care is implemented.

Supervising duty of care online operators

Not only have we now introduced a new policy rule, but we are also going to step up our supervision of the operators’ duty of care. To this end we are setting up a temporary Online Duty of Care department, which will focus entirely on supervising that aspect of the legislation and regulations. The department will issue warning letters and take a short and sharp hits approach, as well as impose significant sanctions and penalty procedures if necessary. This additional supervising department is currently being set up and we have committed to it being operational by the first of September. The process will involve recruiting between ten and fifteen new members of staff. As you will no doubt understand, supervising operators’ compliance with their obligations is our top priority.

However, this does not mean, of course, that we are neglecting other issues. The Minister for Legal Protection has received several motions from the House of Representatives on the specific subject of current gambling advertising policy. If it was up to a majority of the House, all gambling adverts would be banned, but I have already expressed my doubts as to whether this would be appropriate. This is partly due to the explanatory memorandum to the Remote Gambling Act, which I just quoted from: enabling licensees to offer an appropriate and attractive range of games would create a situation in which Dutch players would no longer need to engage with illegal operators. However, this would only be possible if the players in question are properly aware of whether any game is legal or not and that would surely require some form of advertising.

Non-targeted advertising

Recent years have been characterised by a whole host of rules to restrict advertising being implemented over a short period of time. The ban on untargeted advertising has been applicable since July 2023. The effect of the ban is reflected in our latest Monitoring Report and it is clear that it primarily affects people who are not players. The number of visits to gambling sites by people who are not gambling themselves has fallen sharply, and I see that as a positive development.

The ban on untargeted advertising caused a lot of controversy when it entered into force, and I would be lying if I said that it has not caused problems for us as the regulator. The 95% rule, which requires operators to ensure that the group of vulnerable or young adult players who see internet advertising does not exceed 5 percent, is difficult to manage in practice, not only in terms of implementation, but also in terms of supervision. We are therefore in talks with the Ministry about the difficulties associated with this legislation.

In any event we are going to focus our supervisory work primarily on the obligation to provide an opportunity for people to exclude themselves from gambling advertising. We aim to provide further guidance on this issue during the autumn and will strictly supervise the situation after that.

A summer of sport

While we are on the subject of advertising, I would like to say something to you about the coming summer. It is going to be a fantastic summer, not only because I’m going to enjoy my retirement, but also because we have three major sporting events coming up, namely UEFA EURO 2024, the Olympic Games and the Tour de France. We know that sports and betting go hand in hand. We also know that events like these are reasons for operators to significantly ramp up their marketing machines. So that’s why I again want to issue a warning and advise you to choose moderation, rather than push the envelope. For the gambling market, which is under so much scrutiny, it seems crucial to me that everyone shows their best side.

Because I also know that competition is fierce, I don’t rule out the possibility of there being operators who nevertheless try to push the boundaries and possibly even go beyond them. That’s where we, as the Ksa, will have to be very much on the ball, just as we were during the last World Cup in Qatar. We will focus on quick interventions and short, sharp hits to stop any violations in their tracks. Major or repeated infringements may also result in penalty proceedings.

Incidentally, the above applies not only to legal operators because illegal operators will also be dealt with as robustly as possible. So, this summer our Enforcement Department will again be keeping a particularly keen eye on advertising and the activities of illegal operators on the Dutch market and will intervene to take them down at the earliest opportunity.

Awareness campaign for young adults

Finally, in the context of our summer programme, we want to arm consumers, especially young adults, against the gambling-related temptations they may be exposed to this summer, for example through sports sponsorship. That is why the Ksa is running its own awareness campaign over the summer, in collaboration with Loket Kansspel, which will encourage young people not to gamble away their joy for sports. Placing a bet on a sporting event is not necessarily a bad thing, but it should not become a problem in the long run. That’s something we want to make this vulnerable target group particularly aware of this summer, using a targeted, direct approach.

Uncertainty of political choices

Ladies and gentlemen, I have almost arrived at the end of my speech. When I took office at the Ksa on the first of October 2018 there was a lot of political uncertainty about whether the Senate would pass the Remote Gambling Act. On top of that you may remember that the intended privatisation of Holland Casino did not get through the same Senate.

My imminent departure is once again shrouded in political uncertainty. All of you will be aware of the current political climate and the uncertainties about the future of both land-based and online licensed gambling markets. I must confess that I am sincerely concerned about the effects of proposals such as a hefty increase in gambling tax and the partial banning of remote gambling again.

As a regulator, keeping our mission ‘Gambling safely’ in mind, we are convinced that players are far better off in a licensed market. Supervising compliance with legal obligations can only be realised with legal and licensed operators. Besides that, I also consider recent important achievements such as the Exclusion Register Cruks and the Addiction Prevention Fund (Verslavingspreventiefonds).

Therefore, the Ksa will keep a close eye on the channelisation rate and how it might be affected by upcoming regulation. We have heard your concerns about the rise of illegal offering on the Dutch market, and I want to assure you we take that threat seriously. While intensifying our supervision on the duty of care, we will also keep on battling illegal offering and its enablers. With a viable industry, a high channelisation rate and intensive attention to illegal offering, we can together ensure that gambling continues to be a source of genuine entertainment for almost all players.

A focus on the player

With that I can conclude with some words I have been uttering for six years now, but which have never actually lost their impact: the focus in gambling should be on the players! That means there must be an attractive provision which meets consumer needs, and which must be easy to find. It also means that important business decisions should always be made in the player’s best interest. Care for the player must always be the priority!

The sentiment in our society regarding gambling depends on the choices you make as an industry. So please, do the right thing and put those safeguards against problem gambling in place so that I can hand over the baton to my successor Michel Groothuizen with a clear conscience, knowing that he will be speaking to a room full of licensed operators once again next year.

Thank you for your attention!

Foto’s via Gaming in Holland.

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Jeffrey Noeken CasinoNieuws.nl

Jeffrey Noeken

Senior Redacteur CasinoNieuws.nl
Jeffrey Noeken is senior redacteur bij CasinoNieuws.nl. Hij is een expert op het gebied van de Nederlandse en Curaçaose kansspelwetgeving.

Er is 1 reactie op dit artikel

  1. Mic van Arensdonk

    Voor alsnog misbruiken online gokplatformen de preventiemaatregelen vooral voor eigen gewin en om hun winst te maximaliseren.
    Limitering, gedeeltelijke bans enz. Allemaal middelen die ze niet zouden mogen hebben maar bestaan omwille van fraude bestrijding en gokverslaving.
    KSA doet hier geen ene fluit aan. Nu ligt weer de focus op preventie e.d. Zal wel nodig zijn en prima maar het moet echt samengaan met misbruik door casinos tegen te gaan.

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