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GiH Breakfast Briefing | The industry at a crossroads ...and more!

Dutch universities launch responsible gaming research project

Erasmus University Rotterdam and the University of Amsterdam have launched a research project titled “A Safe Bet: Design and evaluation of a player-tailored online responsible gambling promotion framework” in cooperation with Holland Casino and Playtech.

The aim of the project is to develop and evaluate new tools for online responsible gambling and part of a larger, mutually initiated research collaboration between academia and the gambling industry.

Researchers will develop and test high-quality, evidence-based RG tools in a live setting with active gamblers of two international gambling operators: Holland Casino Online and Playtech PLC. The collaboration effort is based on the exchange of knowledge, expertise, and resources toward a comprehensive RG promotion framework, where a range of existing and newly designed RG tools will be dynamically tailored to gamblers’ individual level of gambling risk and gambling behavior patterns.

“Promoting and supporting safe gambling practices is something that can have a positive impact for all individuals who decide to gamble and can contribute to the prevention of more problematic patterns of gambling behavior,” research lead Marilisa Boffo said.

Winning Poker Network withdraws from Dutch market

Winning Poker Network, a platform provider for several independently operating poker rooms, has withdrawn from the Dutch market. Although presently unconfirmed, the withdrawal appears to have followed a conditional penalty payment issued by the Netherlands Gambling Authority.

Dutch central bank publishes guidance for iGaming payment providers

De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), the central bank of the Netherlands, has published a guidance document, titled “Good Practice Payment Providers Gambling & Gaming.”

An English translation of the document will be published soon.

German national gambling regulator “ready to go”

Germany's national gambling regulator, the Gemeinsame Glücksspielbehörde der Länder (GGL), is ready to take over the supervision of Germany's federal gambling market.

After taking over national enforcement in July 2022, the GGL will henceforth also be responsible for licensing and overall market supervision, including for the sports betting and lottery markets.

“We’re ready to go,” GGL Co-Chair Benjamin Schwanke said. “We have set up the appropriate structures and processes to regulate the online gaming market effectively from 1 January 2023.”

Upcoming events

  • ICE London 2023 will take place February 7-9, 2023. Meet us there on February 8 for the Gaming in Germany Breakfast and Gaming in Holland Lunch. Save the date!

  • The European Casino Awards, timed to coincide with ICE 2023, will be awarded on February 7, 2023, at The Grand Connaught Rooms, Covent Garden, London.

  • Don't miss the 2023 Gaming in Holland Conference on June 8, 2023, at the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam. Save the date!

GiH Breakfast Briefing | The industry at a crossroads

Yesterday's Gaming in Holland Breakfast Briefing (photo stream here) saw leading executives and other stakeholders in the Dutch regulated gambling industry provide a series of quick updates to their industry peers.

Holland Casino's newly appointed CEO, Petra de Ruiter challenged the industry to decide as to “who we are and what we stand for.” “It all begins with deciding who we want to be,” she continued.

But while René Jansen, Chair of the Netherlands Gambling Authority observed that some licensed operators “still keep pushing the legal envelope,” Fedor Meerts, Head of Department at the Ministry of Justice and Security, noted, however, that most licensed operators had been quick to respond to political pressure to voluntarily limit their advertising when requested by the Ministry.

In short, the licensed industry is at a crossroads if it wishes to prevent further erosion of its public reputation. Even more cooperation and restraint will be necessary in the future for the current political pressure to let up.

Fortunately, Holland Casino CEO Petra de Ruiter, Nederlandse Loterij CEO Niels Onkenhout, and Eric Konings, Policy Advisor at the Netherlands Online Gambling Association (NOGA), all agreed that increased industry cooperation, especially between trade associations VNLOK and NOGA would be desirable. “Let us pro-actively come up with joint proposals to improve player safety,” Onkenhout added, noting that excessive restrictions devised without industry input could lead to market dechannelization.

Furthermore, Netherlands Gambling Authority Chair, René Jansen remarked that licensed operators should improve the monitoring of player transactions in accordance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act (Wwft) and that preliminary results of an ongoing investigation suggested that operators are struggling with properly implementing their duty of care obligations.

Fedor Meerts of the Ministry

of Justice and Security disclosed that the advice of the Council of State on the proposal to ban untargeted online gambling advertising will probably be available in early January, to which gambling lawyer Justin Franssen added that the language of the current proposal might be softened a bit as a result of the Council of State's recommendations.

Meerts also said that the current principles-based approach to online gambling regulation had proven to be “partially unsatisfactory,” and that there would be a move toward a more rules-based approach in the future.

Meerts noted that mandatory instead of open-ended deposit limits would be an example of this. Meerts further remarked, however, that such limits – which could be introduced as early as the second half of 2023 – could likely be raised in individual cases after appropriate checks. “We need more hard and fast rules to determine when, exactly, an intervention by an operator is appropriate,” René Jansen added.

Finally, gambling lawyer Justin Fransse

n observed that enforcement action by the Netherlands Gambling Authority aimed at keeping out illegal operators is generally effective – a positive and reassuring sign to current participants in the regulated market.

Other news

René Jansen, Chair of the Netherlands Gambling Authority, delivered a speech at the Amsterdam Gambling & Awareness Congress 2022, which was co-organized by SLICKS, an advocacy group for (former) gamblers.

Nuvei Corporation, the Canadian payments company, has extended its partnership with Holland Casino Online, to provide instant payouts to Holland Casino Online players.

Responsible gambling company Mindway AI has welcomed advisor and professional board member Britt Boeskov to its Board of Directors.

Sweden's government is looking to enshrine operators’ rights to collect player information and gambling behavior data.

The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has handed a six-month ban to Bulgarian chair umpire Stefan Milanov after he admitted to several betting regulations breaches, including on one match where he was officiating.

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