The Netherlands, with its 16 million population, has about 8 million gamblers. Quite a significant percentage. However, that number has come down by one million in recent years. As estimated, nearly 100,000 of the Dutch who gamble are risk players, meaning they may eventually put their overall welfare at risk as a result of excessive betting.
There is also a population of around 30,000 people who are considered to be problem gamblers, which is what Dutch gambling news report as compulsive gambling, something equivalent and nearly as bad as alcohol and drug addiction.
While the drug addicts can visit a rehab center and alcoholics have something in the sorts of Alcoholics Anonymous centers, the Dutch gamblers don’t have that many options.
Rather, then can ban themselves from the state gaming monopoly, Holland Casino. It’s been estimated that as many as 80-90% of the problem gamblers are aware of the banning list, yet few pursue it. Even fewer seek help.
The Dutch gambling laws give a right to operate casinos to only one state monopoly. Holland Casino, with its multiple branches, is a land-based outfit catering to the players. The problem gamblers who put themselves on the ban list will not have access to its premises.
However, with the rise of Internet-based gaming, many Dutch have been playing at offshore online casinos. These are not regulated in the Netherlands, thus the ban lists doesn’t work with them.
At the same time, the Dutch gambling regulations are not proactive at seeking to legalize online casinos in Holland, in effect, not really helping the problem gamblers. This has more to do with protecting its state gambling monopoly than concerns about the well-being of the citizens.
Only regulated casinos can ban problem players while being required to pursue fair game under licensing and regulatory oversight. The state coffers will not suffer as well since Internet betting brings revenues which currently end up in many offshore island states.