Speech Yvon Jansma
(Center of Responsible Gaming)
Gaming in Holland Conference, June 7 2016
First, I’d like to thank Willem van Oort for hosting the Gaming in Holland Conference 2016. I am grateful to be part of this responsible gaming panel on behalf of the Center of Responsible Gaming, and for the opportunity to present our “Bet.ter” app.
To this very date, online players still don’t have the necessary protection and proper guidance to care that we think is crucial. Protection thats play such a prominent role in the initial goals of Dutch policy regarding games of chance.
But time and again, the political debate gets delayed, for all kind of reasons. The Center of Responsible Gaming finds this very disappointing, given that online gambling has been around for so many years already – yet to this very date, hundreds of thousands of online players still lack the proper protection when playing online.
Important aspects regulation/KOA
Two things that we view as very important with regards to regulation: taking measures to secure high channelisation, and making sure that economic motives are always secondary to the absolute key goal of this bill: consumer protection.
We firmly belief dat also in the pre-regulation phase, online players should have all modern tools and proper guidance to care available to them, based upon the latest scientific developments. As Center of Responsible Gaming, we don’t see any value at all in waiting for these measures until after regulation – and we are certain that online players don’t see this value either. Paying lip service to consumer protection yet not taking the necessary politicial or organisational steps, is not what the Center of Responsible Gaming labels as ‘consumer protection’. It is what we label as as ‘lacking in proper priorities’.
Taking prevention of gambling addiction seriously
If we want to take prevention of gambling addiction seriously (and we do!), then it is crucial to start giving priority to this large group of online players. Even though according to some it is a relatively minor step from games of chance to gambling addiction, the truth is that also online just a small amount of the total number of players falls into the ‘at-risk’ category, and even smaller than this is the group of actual problem gamblers.
Yet even though relatively few players experience it, gambling addiction is awful, it destroy lives. More often than not, gambling addiction goes hand in hand with psychiatric or social problems.
Mission Center of Responsible Gaming
Which brings us to the mission of the Center of Responsible Gaming. First and foremost, we focus on the largest subgroup of players: the recreational players. Not the addicts, not the players who have suffered serious problems or who are already in treatment – no, the recreational players. By providing useful information to them and by using modern tools, our mission is making sure that these recreative players stay recreative, and won’t turn into at-risk players or problem gamblers.
Dutch Gaming Authority on addiction prevention
Having said that, we are happy with the recent statement by the Dutch Gaming Authority, in the way the described the balance between own responsibility of the player versus duty of care of the operator. I quote from their recent “Addiction Prevention” document:
“The player is primarily responsible for his own gambling behavior. The player desides how long, how often, and for which stakes he plays. It is crucial to enable this player to make an informed choice, and give him the proper tools to take his responsibility.”
And regarding the operators’ duty of care, and I quote again: “The Gaming Authority supports and controls the operators’ duty of care. Online operators need to inform players, prevent underaged players from participating, monitor gambling behavior to identify risky behavior, and act in a timely manner to prevent addiction.”
These two passages are entirely in line with how the Center of Responsible gaming thinks. We want players to stay in charge of their own behavior, and offer them tools to make sure they can play responsibly. And we are very pleased that the branche-organisation of online operators has also taken its responsibility here, by providing the funds for this tool to help players.
Responsible gaming app “Bet.ter”
It is for this reason that we are so pleased with our Bet.ter app, a cooperation between Speel Verantwoord and the Center of Responsible Gaming. The online player simply needs to have the proper assistance from online operators, from government, and from organisations like ours, to assist them in playing responsibly, regardless of the status of online regulation. A tool that is based upon their needs and wishes!
What Bet.ter does, is shown in this animation. (English)
Some players need help in money management – and for them, this Bet.ter app is perfectly suited. Others lack insight in their overall results – and again, Bet.ter is a simple yet effective tool to give them this overview. Others like a bit of feedback or effective tips from those who know about responsible gaming, but without needing to make that step that they view as ‘way too far ahead’, the step towards addiction care.
By offering simple and modern tools that they can easily implement in their gambling, players are in perfect position to maintain control, and stay recreative, rather than at-risk or problematic.
It should be clear that Bet.ter is more than anything a prevention tool: low-entry, easy to use, and anonymous. When you are minimal to find a second 50 %, use ukraine ladies personals. And, free of charge! With Bet.ter, the online player finally has the proper tools to take his own responsibility and gain insight in his gambling habits.
Contribution to key goals Dutch games of chance policy
With Bet.ter, we hope to contribute to the of the Remote Games of Chance Act’s key goal, and also the Center of Responsible Gaming’s key goal: prevention of gambling addiction.
Thanks for your attention.