Research: Illegal Dutch operators allow minors to gamble

Research: Illegal Dutch operators allow minors to gamble

Research: Illegal Dutch operators allow minors to gamble
New research by Keurmerk Responsible Affiliates (KVA), and shared with trade organizations VNLOK and NOGA, indicated that illegal gambling operators in the Netherlands may be harming minors, allowing them to gamble without a need to pass an ID verification process. KVA’s findings are worrisome as they suggest that illegal casinos accept deposits from underage individuals without concern about their well-being. Such deposits are usually placed anonymously with cryptocurrency or directly go to a Dutch banking account. According to the research, few hurdles stop minors from registering at illegal gambling websites. Such rogue operators are not interested in checking player data, and usually only ask for a phone number or an email address to create an account. The results were met with alarm and concern among trade bodies. VNLOK Chairman Helma Lodders said that the findings are concerning, and although not surprised that illegal gambling operators continue to target and harm Dutch consumers, the underlying issue here was how easy it was for these illegal casinos to carry out their operations and allow minors to deposit money without any meaningful safeguards in place. Allowing minors to play could lead to problem gambling and a lifelong battle with gambling addiction. Disapproval was expressed by NOGA Managing Director Peter-Paul de Goeij who was similarly worried about how easy it was for nefarious parties to target vulnerable groups and endanger at-risk consumers such as minors. “It also undermines confidence in the legally regulated supply. By the way, all of these facts are strictly prohibited by legal online providers,” De Goeij said in a translated statement. Though unsettling, these findings are also useful to regulators and lawmakers as they seek to find a way to restrict the access of outward parties to the regulated iGaming and gambling market in the Netherlands. The research’s findings have been passed onto the Dutch Gaming Authority (KSA) which will now be tasked with better analyzing the results and trying to track down how these criminal practices happen exactly. With enough insight, the KSA, assisted by lawmakers and trade bodies, could devise a way of stopping minors from being targeted by illegal gambling sites. However, the immediate action that can be taken, according to both VNLOK and NOGA, is to see KSA petition payment service providers and other companies involved in the facilitation of these transactions to intervene. KSA for its part has been very gung-ho against operators it has found to be operating outside the law, going after a number of such companies, and notably targeting Gammix Ltd. with a €19.6m fine that the latter is now contesting. Image credit: Unsplash.com

24 MAY 2024

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