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Dutch Banks Refuse to Work With Government to Implement Overarching Gambling Limits due to Privacy Concerns

Dutch Banks Refuse to Work With Government to Implement Overarching Gambling Limits due to Privacy ConcernsThe Dutch banking sector has rejected Minister for Legal Protection Franc Weerwind’s plans to have financial institutions monitor gamblers’ transactions for indicators of problem gambling. As reported by the Dutch news website NOS, a couple of alternatives were presented as potential options.

Initially, the measure was proposed as per the recommendation of the National Rapporteur on Addictions, and it called for collaboration between the ministry and Dutch banks so that nationwide gambling limits could be enforced. If it had been implemented as planned, this measure would have led to financial institutions being authorized to examine the transactions of clients and step in if something were found to be amiss in terms of gambling.

Concerns regarding customer privacy and how it would be compromised stand in the way of the proposal’s coming to fruition, however. According to the Dutch Banking Association’s Ronit van der Schaaf, who spoke with NOS regarding the matter, the banking industry was taken off-guard when it was revealed that the solution to problem gambling was “left to the banks.” She added that beyond analyzing client data as is mandated by the Netherlands’ anti-money laundering (AML) and anti-terrorist financing regulations, transactions cannot be monitored at present, which banks deem to be “a good thing.”

Credit Card Restrictions Could be a Potential Alternative

The CAMH Report Addresses the Issue of Gambling AdvertisementsNOS further described that, as argued by Ronit van der Schaaf, there are options that could be implemented without as much hassle and that would not involve Dutch banks. One such measure would be to tackle the advertising of gambling. She also specifically pointed to how some jurisdictions have opted to prohibit the usage of credit cards for gambling. British gamblers, for example, are not presented with the option to top up their casino or sports betting accounts via credit cards since UKGC-licensed gambling companies are not permitted to accept credit cards for deposits.

Weerwind is not convinced that the alternatives, particularly the credit card ban, would be viable or effective in tackling gambling harm. A spokesperson for the minister explained that nothing indicates that credit cards, in particular, are an issue for Dutch problem gamblers in the first place. It was further stressed that even if a ban were implemented, gamblers would simply use their credit cards to top up checking accounts and wager that way. As explained by the spokesperson, overreaching gambling limits are considered to be better, and the ministry favors measures that are effective in safeguarding “a large group of players.”

It should also be noted Dutch politicians are also looking into introducing a rule that would require gambling operators to reach out to the Netherlands’ Central Credit Registration Office (BKR) and check if their users have gambling debts. Then, if data suggests that there is an issue, operators would prevent the individual from wagering. Attempts to convince the BKR to go along with this idea have not been too promising for now, as according to NOS, the agency has described the implementation of these plans as very complex and time-consuming.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.