The Netherlands gambling regulator, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has reiterated its determination to stop under-aged gamblers from being able to play games of chance after issuing a warning to gambling operators to ensure that they are properly enforcing their age verification measures.
The announcement from the KSA coincided with the publication of a survey which was conducted among individuals aged between 16-30. The survey analysed the differences in gambling habits across three distinct age groups within that cohort: 16-17 year olds; 18-23 year olds and 24-30 year olds. It showed that 11% of 16-17 year olds had played on scratch cards during the preceding year, while 8% had played on gambling machines occasionally, a further 7% had entered lotteries, and 5% had occasionally taken part in sports betting. Significantly, only 5% of those aged between 16-17 years old had been refused at the point where they tried to buy scratch cards, and that figure was even lower at 1% when it came to slot machines.
When attempting to buy tickets for the Staatsloterij, the country’s national lottery only 7% of those under 18 had been prevented from participating, while 6% had been refused in their attempts to play on other lotteries available in the Netherlands.
Commenting on the results of the survey, the KSA said that the cases of minors being able to participate in gambling showed that the age controls are failing. They suggested that in the case of scratch card sales, minors may be buying tickets with someone over the age of 18. Addressing the sports betting figures, the KSA said that verification may not be properly conducted, while the slots machines number suggested that owners of the gaming facilities are not properly monitoring the ages of their customers. In all cases, however, the KSA emphasised the importance of age verification:
“The conclusion that strict adherence to and application of the age limit of 18 years works is an important fact for the KSA when supervising providers.”