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Dutch regulator KSA issues ruling on loss-based bonuses



The Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has acted to enforce a stricter ruling around loss-based bonuses following a wide-ranging investigation.

Specifically, the Dutch gaming regulator has changed the terminology around its guidelines on cashback bonuses to address concerns on the matter and for the purposes of good legislation.

As reported by Gambling Insider, the probe found a problem with the existing terms, leading to the adoption of the term “bonus based on loss,” which will be implemented immediately.

Cashback incentives, a familiar feature across online casinos and sportsbooks, tend to operate on a loss-based model where players receive a part of their losses back as free bets or spins.

KSA is concerned as it believes all forms of this type of bonus contravene the Dutch Gambling Act, which prohibits the practice in the Netherlands due to fears the bonuses encourage increased risk-taking, higher stakes betting, and an increase in the frequency of play.

Following the investigation, the KSA issued a formal warning to one license holder who was found to have offered such a bonus. In contrast, others were contacted to clarify the rules around bonuses after they provided incentives in other ways to direct cashback.

Preventative action

The crackdown was emphasized by KSA René Jansen, who stressed, “This encourages excessive participation. Players bet higher, take more risks, and play more often.”

“At the KSA, the interests of players are central. A safe gambling market and the prevention of gambling problems are high on our agenda.”

“To protect players even better, we immediately clarify the definition as a basis for strict supervision. Any bonus that is in any way linked to a loss is prohibited.”

This move comes after the KSA proposed updating its responsible gaming policy rules in December.

An earlier industry survey in 2023 reported gambling operators were not doing enough in their duty of care to users to prevent potential addiction and compulsive behavior.

The new proposals set out the expectation that providers must monitor online gaming effectively and to pick up on signs of addictive gambling within one hour.  On deposits, if a player drops more than €700 ($770) within a month, the company has to contact the user to request proof of earnings before more money can be deposited in their account.

For younger players aged 18-24, the deposit amount would be questioned at €300.

Image: Darya Sannikova/Pexels

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