Dutch govt launches betting finance risk check consultation

Dutch flag

The Netherlands is taking a step closer to implementing finance risk checks for online gambling, in parallel to a similar story which has played out in the UK.

This week, the country’s Ministry of Justice and Security launched a consultation seeking industry views on proposals by Justice Minister Franc Weerwind, for enhanced finance risk checks. 

As Justice Minister, Weerwind maintains political oversight of the gambling industry under the terms of the KOA Act. Weerwind’s proposals are that operators should adopt monthly finance risk checks on players that spend over €350. 

An additional proposal is that all customers aged under 24 be subject to a €150 loss limit, and accompanying technical changes will require operators to implement ‘customer care reminders’ every 30 minutes, warning players about their gambling behaviour.

The KOA Act came into force in October 2021 and launched an initial online marketplace of 10 licensed operators which has now swelled to encompass 27 betting providers.

This growth in the market, which the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) gambling regulator believes is now maturing, has been accompanied by public and political concerns about advertising proliferation and affordability.

Last week, the Kramer (parliament) approved a motion by marginal party ChristenUnie (CU) leader, Mirjam Bikker, to apply a ‘universal loss limit’ across all 27 KOA-licensed operators “without the possibility of offering customers an increase”.

The CU is proposing countermeasures to Weerwind’s player protections, suggesting stricter limitations. The party states that it has cross-party support to impose an overarching play limit on all 27 licensed KOA operators.

Regardless, operators will have to make adjustments to KYC, payments and player protection should either measure be adopted. It will just be a matter of how far firms will have to go, depending on which course of action policymakers choose.

These developments mirror the ongoing debate in the UK around affordability checks – billed as finance risk checks in the government’s White Paper on gambling reform, which are due to be debated in the House of Commons next Monday.

Under UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and DCMS proposals, it has been suggested that when customers subject to finance risk checks have to provide financial documents they will do so via a third party Open Banking provider.

It is unclear at this stage whether the Netherlands’ proposals – either those of the government or of the CU – will follow a similar route, but it could be worthwhile for fintechs to keep an eye on these developments.