KSA: operators must register problem players on exclusion list

| By Conor Mulheir
Dutch gambling authority the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has set out its rules by which players can be involuntarily excluded from participating in gambling.

Third parties such as family members, employers or gaming operators will, under the country’s Remote Gambling Act, be able to request the addition of individuals to the Netherlands’ Cruks exclusion register.

After the introduction of the Act on 1 April this year, which allows for the launch of online gaming from October, all players must be checked by operators against the Cruks exclusion register from October, when the Dutch online market launches.

The KSA said it recognises that listing a third party on the self-exclusion register is a major decision, and this is why it has carefully elaborated the procedure in its policy rules.

One condition for registration on Cruks is that the measure will prevent further damage to the player, either financial social or personal. The regulator said that it should also be clear that less drastic measures would not be effective in reducing harm.

The process will begin when a request from a third party to register a player on the self-exclusion register is received by the KSA. Applications may be submitted electronically or by post, and must detail an explanation of the third party’s relationship with the player, and the motives for requesting exclusion.

At this point, the regulator will begin an investigation into the nature and effects of the player’s gambling behaviour. During the investigation, it may request advice be provided by an expert.

The investigation will assess the damage done by the player’s gambling behaviour, in terms of financial loss, personal damage such as a neglect of the player’s own health, damage to the player’s family and social damage such as neglect or loss of social contacts.

The KSA explained that the involuntary registration of players with Cruks represents the final step in a staggered intervention model. It said there are many less invasive intervention measures that can be used before a player is involuntarily registered with Cruks.

Operators, it said, must use responsible gambling measures which are consistent with the intensity of the customer’s gambling behaviour.

If an operator’s less severe measures do not prove effective in preventing problem gambling for a player, and if such a player disregards the operator’s advice to register voluntarily with Cruks, at this point the operator should lodge an application with the regulator to register the player involuntarily.

Any player who the KSA decides, after seeking the advice of an external expert, should be added to the Cruks register involuntarily, will have the opportunity to give their view on this both in writing and orally.

In October 2020, the Dutch government outlined the mechanisms behind Cruks, which is accessed through DigiD system, a form of online ID that allows Dutch residents to access online services and government websites in the Netherlands.

When a player registers with an online operator for the first time, or if the player wants to access a land-based casino, they enter their public service number, which leads to the generation of a Cruks code. This code is then compared to the list of codes for self-excluded players and if it matches, the player must not be allowed to register or enter.

Cruks applies to both the land-based and online sectors.

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