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Dutch MP wants to make online gambling illegal again

CDA Member of Parliament Anne Kuik is working on a bill to end legal online gambling in the Netherlands. She criticized the risk of debt and addiction among young people and condemned online gambling companies for prioritizing profit over the protection of players.

Online gambling became legally permitted in the Netherlands in October 2021, following the adoption of the Remote Gambling Act after years of political debate. According to figures from the Gambling Authority, the market exploded. Over one in 20 Netherlands residents gambled on a legal site last year.

“As a result of the law, gambling has been normalized and young people have been driven into a world of addiction. We have to suppress that now,” Kuik wrote. She reported that the number of people with a gambling addiction has sharply increased, notably among young adults.

She noted that the number of accounts on online gambling sites more than doubled to 859,000 in the second half of 2022. “21 percent of those accounts belong to young adults, meaning young people who are getting themselves into debt,” she said. “These gambling companies are thus making profits at the expense of people with gambling problems.”

Online gambling companies earned a gross total of just under 1.1 billion euros in 2022. According to Kuik, the law is a product of the “prevailing neoliberal political wind, in which it is not the interest of protecting the vulnerable that comes first, but profit and the free market.”

The CDA has always opposed legalization due to the risks of addiction and debt, especially among young adults. The CDA believes that the government has been too lax, notably regarding the protection of players. The party argues that gambling companies neglect their duty of care and shift the responsibility onto the players themselves.

As a result, the CDA is now pushing for a bill to reverse the Remote Gambling Act without waiting for its evaluation. “We’ve gambled and lost in recent years, so now it’s time to reverse this charade,” the party wrote.

https://nltimes.nl/2023/10/15/dutch-mp-wants-make-online-gambling-illegal Dutch MP wants to make online gambling illegal again

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