Dutch regulation looks to be the best, Armenia to further tighten the law
The international news presented by 4H and Legalbet.
The Dutch local regulator chief René Jansen has claimed that the steps the organisation has been taking to tackle illegal gambling have been successful. He believes that the Dutch approach proves to be effective. The decision to ban all unlicensed operators, including those who didn’t actively target Dutch customers, helped to dissuade some offshore companies from the market. Many operators simply decided to deny access for all customers from the Netherlands.
The regulator has already investigated 158 unlicensed operators since the market became regulated. They discovered that 142 of those operators already took steps to ban Dutch customers. The remaining ones will either be sanctioned or are already banned due to some other reasons.
Ivan Kurochkin´s comments
News from the Netherlands is coming to us again - this time the communiqué was issued by our favorite Dutch regulator at the most popular industry exhibition in London (ICE London).
Based on this communique, the representative of the Dutch regulator believes that tough and consistent measures to combat offshore operations are bearing fruit - the number of unlicensed offers on the market is decreasing, while the number of new licensees is increasing.
I wonder what specific measures caused the number of offshore operators to reduce (ban on obtaining a license, financial blocking, payment blocking, advertising restrictions, or something else).
It seems that the most powerful incentive to obtain a license are a possible ban on obtaining a license and advertising in future, since it is obvious that large players do not want to lose the opportunity to operate legally and, accordingly, advertise legally in acceptable formats.
So far, observing the launches of legal gambling markets over the past few years around the World (well, except for the USA), it seems that the Netherlands is pretty much the best at doing this: quite consistently and methodically (and seemingly even successfully) cleaning up offshore operations.
From the 12th to the 14th of April, London was a host to the large gambling conference ICE London. This event saw 158 jurisdictions represened. British Gambling Commission interim chief executive Andrew Rhodes even made a speech there. He said that international gambling regulators must collaborate to tackle new challenges brought by changes in the industry. He voiced hope for collaboration not only in sharing experiences and best practice, but also in conducting joint investigations and actions.
Andrew Rhodes highlighted that the following UKGC projects were successful: A ban on credit card deposits, new protections for high-value customers, working over a system that would allow regulators and operators transparent data on gambling participation. He believes that problems that the British regulator faces can be useful for other countries as they’re almost the same.
The Armenian parliament is debating a bill presented by the ruling bloc that would ban gambling with cash, including through payment terminals. The bill would also ban gambling using e-wallets, though this would come six months after its implementation. Current regulations allow betting operators in Armenia to accept bets in three ways: in cash, in electronic money transfers and through bank transfer.
The MP Gevorg Papoyan, a co-author of the bill, told lawmakers that the proposed legislation formed part of the government’s effort to fight gambling addiction. He believes that it will help to protect the citizens who are socially vulnerable and have a gambling addiction. Papoyan suggested this would also help prevent minors from gambling since there are age restrictions on having a bank account.
Ivan Kurochkin´s comments
It should be noted that along with the Netherlands, news from Armenia also often finds itself on our radar.
This time, parliamentarians plan to limit the possibility of uploading cash through land terminals into their personal online accounts with operators. At the same time, it is not completely clear whether this only applies to online operations or also applies to land-based cash terminals. It seems that it most likely applies only to online operations, since the ban on depositing cash at land-based cash terminals seems unjustified.
In any case, such a ban can significantly affect the level of gambling addiction, but such a ban alone will not be a panacea. To really fight the problem of gambling addiction, you need to gradually introduce a whole arsenal of responsible gambling tools that will complement each other.
So, for example, very often, instead of a ban on cash replenishment of personal accounts, countries with a developed gambling business regulation system provide for such responsible gambling tools as a ban on gambling on credit (a ban on credit cards as in Great Britain), as well as limits on deposits (e.g. Germany).
In any case, there should be a whole set of tools for responsible gambling that would effectively and not restrictively deal with the problems of gambling addiction.