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Dutch lottery and football association sign RG code of conduct

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The Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) and the country's Nationale Loterij have signed a responsible gaming code of conduct through which the partners aim to ensure a fair, transparent and ethical relationship between football and sports betting.

The agreement sets out plans for sustainable cooperation between the organisations, demanding more attention for the integrity and reliability of football and creating a safer environment for sports betting.

The principles of the agreement include that consumers, policymakers, football fans and civil society organisations must be able to trust that both sport and sports betting are conducted fairly and with integrity, based on three basic principles.

Football players and fans must be able to rely on the sporting nature of the game; consumers must be able to bet on football in a safe and responsible manner, and that there should be no conflict of interest when organising football matches and sports betting.

The signing of the RG code of conduct also marked the start of a campaign to promote responsible wagering. The campaign, using the tagline “Keep your peace, play consciously”, starts today, with the collaboration of Dutch amateur footballer and mental coach, Nathan Rutjes.

It aims to emphasise responsible participation in sports betting with the support of Nederlandse Loterij’s sports betting brand, Toto. Rutjes will offer practical tips to players for responsible sports betting.

“The popularity of football and the growing attention for sports betting are the perfect time to make agreements with each other about those things that keep sports and sports betting fun and thus also how we can protect that together,” Nederlandse Loterij chief executive Niels Onkenhout said.

“Even if the market for online games of chance opens up in the Netherlands and the supply grows, much structural attention will be needed for responsible gaming.”

KNVB commercial director Jean Paul Decossaux added: “By signing the code of conduct, we are also taking up our social responsibility on this theme. The opening up of the market for online games of chance offers new opportunities for the football world, but we also have to keep a close eye on the risks.

“We believe it is important that the integrity of football is not compromised and that the sports experience is enhanced. We are very confident that together in this way we can pay extra attention to the risks, so that football fans can trust what they see on the field and consumers can bet safely. ”

Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) recently bolstered its academic resources by appointing addiction expert, Gert-Jan Meerkerk, as a research partner.

Meerkerk, who studied clinical psychology and obtained his PhD in 2007 with a dissertation on excessive internet use, became the KSA’s fourth research partner following the death of Dick de Bruin earlier this year.

Following a recent delay in the advancement of regulations, the launch of online gaming in the Netherlands through the Remote Gambling Act will now come into force on 1 March, 2021, with the market opening for business on 1 September.

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