by Adam Dworak

Surge in Self-Exclusion Registrations Reflects Heightened Responsible Gambling Awareness in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has witnessed a remarkable increase in the number of players opting for self-exclusion from gambling, with figures more than doubling from 30,806 at the start of 2023 to 60,902 by the beginning of 2024.

This significant rise, as detailed in the Netherlands Gambling Authority’s (KSA) 2023 Annual Report, underscores a growing commitment to responsible gambling within the country.

A Closer Look at the Numbers

Throughout 2023, a total of 76,000 Dutch individuals took proactive steps to self-exclude from gambling activities, although the majority chose exclusion periods of less than one year.

Interestingly, about 20,000 of these exclusions were automatically terminated within the year, while approximately 26,000 players decided to end their exclusion periods prematurely. This left nearly 61,000 individuals still registered with the Cruks self-exclusion system by year-end, reflecting a robust use of this regulatory tool.

Opting for Longer Exclusion Periods

The data reveals a notable shift in the duration of self-exclusions chosen by Dutch gamblers. In 2023, only 21.8% of self-excluded customers opted for the minimum six-month period, a decrease from 35% in 2022.

This reduction in minimum period selections was mirrored by a significant leap in the average duration of self-exclusion, which soared from 13 years in 2022 to an astounding 22 years and eight months in 2023.

Ensuring Compliance through Operator Checks

To uphold the integrity of the self-exclusion system, licensed operators in the Netherlands are mandated to verify the details of new sign-ups against the Cruks register before allowing gameplay. The frequency of these checks escalated to 40.3 million per day in December 2023, marking December as the busiest month for Cruks verifications.

Increased Public Engagement with the KSA

Cruks emerged as the principal reason for public interactions with the KSA in 2023, with the authority receiving 5,534 inquiries, up from 3,999 in 2022. A significant portion of these contacts, totaling 3,873, pertained to the self-exclusion register.

This uptick in inquiries was attributed to modifications to the Cruks system and its online platform, including the introduction of an eight-day cooling-off period designed to prevent impulsive decisions regarding self-exclusion reversals.

Our Comment on the Article

The substantial growth in self-exclusion registrations within the Netherlands points to a heightened awareness and proactive stance towards responsible gambling among Dutch players. The trend towards longer exclusion periods suggests a serious commitment to tackling gambling-related issues head-on.

Furthermore, the increased public engagement with the KSA, particularly regarding the Cruks system, indicates a growing reliance on regulatory measures to ensure safe gambling practices.

As the Netherlands continues to refine its approach to responsible gambling, the collective efforts of regulators, operators, and the gambling community will be crucial in fostering a safer and more responsible gambling environment.

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