Stakeholders working to combat problem gambling in the Netherlands will be keenly watching developments from next week as a new scheme goes into the testing phase.
Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Netherlands gambling regulatory authority is set to begin live testing of ‘CRUKS’ – the national self-exclusion scheme, during the next week. This represents the next phase of testing for the system, and KSA has called for all stakeholders to trial the system at the same time as it enters their beta testing program from December 14.
Managed and controlled by the KSA, CRUKS is a national self-exclusion scheme, that functions as a centralised database of those who have sought to self exclude, with the intention that it will impede vulnerable gamblers from making any new registrations or playing at any land-based venues or through licensed online gambling operators, when the regulated online market is launched.
The CRUKS system is also set to be a crucial part of the preparations for the launching of the licensing window for the new Netherlands online gaming sector, which opens on March 1 next year. The KSA has warned all online gambling operators who intend to apply for a licence to operate in the Netherlands market that they must be fully aware of their obligations and responsibilities in referring players to the CRUKS system where appropriate.
The online regulated market is due to launch on September 1 next year, and licensed operators are obliged to ensure that their businesses and platforms are integrated directly with CRUKS. The Remote Gambling Act, introduced to regulate the new online gaming sector also requires all operators to have tested their referral schemes with CRUKS as pre-requisite for operating in the new market.
The system has also undergone some last-minute amendments, which the Dutch government hope will make self-exclusion scheme even more comprehensive. According to the new rules, Dutch citizens who want to gamble will be required to register their ‘public service code’ (BSN) details with CRUKS, which will then produce a new ‘CRUKS code’ for first-time gamblers, while also cross-referencing codes to look for players who have already self-excluded.
Licensed operators must also ensure that all customers who register with them are cross-referenced through the CRUKS database as a key requirements. According to the rules, the KSA have the obligation to carry out audits of individual operator’s player databases, to make sure that no self-excluded player has either registered or wagered with the licensee.