René Jansen: The possible privatisation of NLO is an extremely serious matter

The speech noted that while “politicians and media pay attention to online gambling, it sometimes seems as if land-based games of chance are forgotten.”

René Janssen ksa speech

René Jansen’s most recent speech in Amsterdam covered several recent industry concerns, including slot machines, investigations and the possible privatisation of the Nederlandse Loterij (NLO).

The outgoing Chairman of the Kansspelautoriteit, the Dutch Gaming Authority (KSA), started off the speech by discussing the recent call to ban all online gambling advertisements, which was escalated by the House of Representatives themselves calling to ban any online gaming with a very high risk of addiction.

Jansen said: “It is clear: the view of a majority of the House of Representatives on the regulation of the online market has clearly changed.

“And what the future will look like is still unclear.”

He emphasised that due to many of its inspectors focusing on their own investigations, the KSA has taken down several large-scale illegal activities, including illegal bingo rings.

Jansen said: “In this way, we also increase awareness about illegal physical gambling.

“We are already seeing the results of these actions in practice: the number of reports to our information line of illegal bingos, lotteries and poker tournaments is steadily increasing.”

The KSA also sent investigators to 20 gaming halls across the country; “We didn't announce our visits in advance: we were unexpectedly at the entrance.”

While they may have expected some pushback from the staff, he reported that “we heard several times how pleasant owners or operators found it that we also came to take a look behind the scenes. I think that's worth a compliment.”

Jansen continued that while steps have been taken to improve compliance, “the implementation does not always match the good intentions that are spoken out loud.

“Of course, I find that worrying.”

One of the biggest examples of this was the self-exclusion programme, Cruks.

Many of the casinos were easily accessible, even to those who were on the register, with many staff not knowing they could add someone to the register themselves.

Janssen also explained that: “With the current discussion about the possible privatisation of NLO, this is an extremely serious matter.

“I cannot anticipate the discussion that will take place on this subject at the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State, but I can dwell on it in a few words.

“Of course, in case law, the penny can always fall both ways, so you prepare for both outcomes.”

He stressed that: “The consequences can be far-reaching.

“Staying close to home: being forced to come to decisions in the relevant permit applications in a hurry – within a period of a few weeks – is very undesirable in my opinion.

“We have asked the Division to suspend the judgment of the District Court of Oost-Brabant in the short term until a decision has been made on the appeal. Last Friday, the Division granted this request. To be continued!”

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