Lawmakers’ Gambling Limit Plan Hits Roadblock with Dutch Banks

Amid the planned changes to the gambling regulations in the Netherlands, lawmakers in the country hit a snag. As a part of the overhaul of the market, the Dutch government seeks to implement gambling limits. This effort seeks to reduce the losses to gambling and also curb the rate of problem gambling. While that’s a good plan, the lawmakers faced rejection from the country’s banks.

Franc Weerwind, the Minister for Legal Protection, previously hinted at plans to discuss a temporary fix that would see banks restrict transactions to gambling operators. This temporary solution was sought as a way to restrict gambling losses while the government continues to work on a long-term fix for the sector’s regulations.

There’s no legislation that can be implemented easily, considering the complexities of legal language and the impact of restrictions. This is why the government sought to receive the support of the country’s banks, at least temporarily, to help limit the transfers to gambling operators.

Ronit van der Schaaf, a policy advisor for the Dutch Banking Association (NVB), who was recently interviewed by NOS, revealed that monitoring customers’ transactions represents a violation of their privacy. Under the current rules, Dutch banks are required to monitor transactions under obligations related to money laundering and terrorism financing, something that is normal for European countries.

Besides a violation of their customers’ privacy, the banks are currently not allowed to monitor the activities of their clients, said Van der Schaaf. “At the moment we cannot just look at that and that is a good thing. We and our customers value that,” she said.

Banks, Surprised to Be Tasked with Resolving Gambling Debt

Van der Schaaf revealed that it is surprising to see the government turn to banks to resolve an ongoing issue with the piling problem gambling debts in the country. She added that there are other ways the aforementioned gambling limits can be implemented such as the implementation of restrictions for credit card gambling and advertising limits. “These solutions are faster, more effective and also cheaper,” noted Van der Schaaf.

We see the scale of the number of people with problematic gambling debts, but we are surprised that the solution to these problems is left to the banks,

added Van der Schaaf

Currently, engaging in gambling activities with a credit card is allowed in the Netherlands. However, in the UK for example, there is an active ban in place that prohibits people from gambling with credit cards.

Whether or not Dutch lawmakers will prefer to implement changes to the use of credit cards for gambling or consider other temporary fixes is yet to be confirmed.