Your House is My House; Netherlands Set to Launch Controversial Cruks Exclusion Register

While much of world gambling is enjoying a boom of legitimation and liberalisation, Dutch authorities are ramping up their safe gambling protocols by the controversial measure of now allowing third parties to report problem gamblers — and have them banned through an exclusion register, called, perhaps, unfortunately: Cruks.

The tough new measure is part of a pay-off inherent in the country’s Remote Gambling Act, which this April legalised and codified online betting.

With the official launch of the Dutch iGaming market set for October, all punters, both digital and retail, will be referenced against the so-called self-exclusion register before they are given the green light to play.

The new legislation is draconian and sails perilously close to an abuse of human rights, some observers may argue.

But Holland’s Gaming Authority, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), who are charged with monitoring the system, say Cruks will prevent further damage to the player; financial, social or personal; by being able to involuntarily exclude them from gambling.

Less drastic measures would not be effective in reducing harm, affirms the KSA.

Now family members, employers or gaming operators, for example, will be able to report perceived problem gamblers to authorities.

The third-party must detail their relationship with the reported player, and their motives for requesting exclusion.

The KSA is empowered to move on the denunciation and investigate the player’s gambling behaviour, calling on expert advice if needed.

An investigation will assess the personal, financial, familial and wider social damage caused by the gambler’s alleged excessive behaviour. Excluded players will have the right of appeal.

Cruks is part of a national digital ID system in Holland that allows access to online services and government websites.

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