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Dutch trade association aires illegal market concerns

A Dutch gambling trade association has questioned whether the Netherlands’ untargeted advertising ban is pushing players to the illegal market.



The regulator, Kansspelautoriteit, said in its most recent market monitoring report that the legal market has “not experienced any noticeable contraction since the ban,” which is chiefly aimed at protecting younger players.

It added that the channelisation rate, at 90 per cent in the latest reading, means the regulator’s target of eight in 10 players playing via the legal market is still being met.

However, the Netherlands Online Gambling Association has said the drop in the channelisation rate from 93 per cent to 90 per cent is a “worrying development.”

NOGA director Peter-Paul de Goeij added that the growth of only one per cent in the legal Dutch market is a “striking trend” given that “the Dutch do not differ fundamentally from gamblers from other European countries.”

He added: “It is obvious that the lagging growth of the legal market in the Netherlands is because Dutch online gamblers have started gambling more with illegal providers – a dangerous trend because player protection is completely lacking there.”

Amid debate about the effect of the advertising ban, De Goeij said it is possible that the levelling off growth in the legal market is “precisely caused” by the ban and said the KSA is making “assumptions” about the situation.

The debate about the effect of the advertising ban on the Netherlands’ channelisation rate comes as the industry continues to consult on more stringent player protection measures.

Fresh deposit limits proposed by government minister for Legal Protection, Franc Weerwind, are currently up for discussion.