Dutch Minister for Legal Protection Franc Weerwind has spoken out in support of payment providers following criticism from some MPs about delays with customer withdrawals.
Weerwind answered questions from Michael van Nispen of the Socialist Party and Mirjam Bikker from the Christian Union, both of whom raised concerns that some operators were paying out faster than other licensees.
Though Weerwind acknowledged that some withdrawal requests are processed faster than others, he said that it is the responsibility of national regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) to monitor operators to ensure they are paying out in an appropriate time.
However, he also said that to date, the KSA has not yet reported any incidence of operators holding on to player’s funds for an “unnecessarily long period of time” and as such licensees are paying out in line with regulations.
“The speed with which payment is made depends on the circumstances of the case,” Weerwind said. “For example, it may be necessary to carry out a check for fraud and money laundering or a check in which the provider checks bonus conditions before a bonus can be paid. One gambling provider may be faster than the other.
“The standard remains “without undue delay”, supervised by the KSA. There is currently no reason to intervene.”
Weerwind was also questioned over the option for players to cancel a withdrawal after they have made such a request, and instead use the funds to carry on gambling. Bikker and van Nispen raised concerns as to whether operators would be likely to agree to this as it would benefit their own revenue models.
In response, Weerwind said any withdrawal cancellation requests should be considered in line with an operator’s duty of care to protect players and prevent gambling-related harm such as addiction.
“Providers must be constantly alert to signs of problematic gaming behaviour and intervene decisively if there are signs,” Weerwind said. “Usually, the one-off cancellation of a payment order will not be problematic but must be viewed in relation to the entire gaming behaviour of the player in question.
“The implementation of the duty of care by providers counteracts the risk that someone continues to play for too long, as is also intended with the warning text cited above. The KSA supervises that providers comply with their duty of care.”
Reverse withdrawal ban
Weerwind also responded to a proposal to make it mandatory that once a withdrawal request has been made, it would not be possible for a player to cancel or reverse this.
While Weerwind said that players should be given full control over their funds in gambling, including being able to change their mind and cancel a withdrawal, he added that operators should always monitor consumers’ behaviour to ensure their gambling habits are not becoming problematic or potentially harmful.
“Participants in games of chance must be able to control the amount in the gambling account,” Weerwind said. “Part of being able to take control yourself is also the possibility to still be able to cancel a payment order.
“The risk of someone playing on for too long is counteracted by the implementation of the duty of care by providers.”
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