KSA Doubles Down on Loss-based Cashback Bonus Restrictions

A nationwide study of the Dutch market by the Netherlands’ gaming authority Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has revealed that some operators offer cashback bonuses in conflict with the Dutch Gambling Act (Wok).

Well-known in the online casino sector, loss-based cashback bonuses allow players to get part of their losses back after spending a certain amount. In the Netherlands, the gambling framework has banned these types of bonuses, with the KSA stating that they lower the threshold for gambling and incentivise taking more risks like playing with higher stakes more frequently.

René Jansen, KSA Chairman, commented: “This (cashback bonuses) encourages excessive participation. Players bet higher, take more risks and play more often. With all its consequences. At the KSA, the interests of players are central. A safe gambling market and the prevention of gambling problems are high on our agenda. To protect players even better, we immediately clarify the definition as a basis for strict supervision. Any bonus that is in any way linked to a loss is prohibited.”

As a result of the study, the KSA issued an official warning to an unnamed licence holder for offering a cashback bonus, and has waived its finger at two other licensees that have been found of handing out compensation bonuses in ways other than cashback.

A statement by the regulator read: “The recent research makes it clear that there are many different forms of bonuses linked to losses. In addition to the illegal cashback bonuses, the KSA discovered bonuses where the provider does not immediately pay out part of the loss, but compensates for the loss in some other way.”

Recently, the KSA has been filling the gaps in its consumer protection duties in an effort to prevent future challenges that might endanger players in the Dutch market.

For example, the gambling body extended its partnership with the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), updating the previous arrangements from 2015 to better reflect the modern trends in gambling and to enhance both organisations’ shared responsibility towards customer safety.

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