Arcades have long been a staple of entertainment for families and gamers alike. These venues, filled with flashing lights and exciting games, offer a unique escape. But behind the fun lies a serious concern—gambling addiction. The Gaming Authority (KSA) has recently highlighted the need for improved duty of care in arcades across the Netherlands. In this post, we’ll explore the KSA’s findings, the importance of duty of care, and what can be done to ensure a safe gaming environment.

Duty of care is crucial in any environment where gambling takes place. It involves taking proactive steps to prevent and limit gambling addiction. For families and gamers, this means a safer environment where they can enjoy games without the risk of falling into harmful patterns. For entertainment industry stakeholders, it’s about maintaining a responsible and sustainable business.

The KSA conducted inspections of 20 arcades across the Netherlands in December and January. These inspections revealed significant areas where arcades need to improve their duty of care practices. Despite acknowledging their duty of care, many arcades fall short in practical application. Staff at many arcades are familiar with the personal circumstances and playing behavior of regular patrons. This familiarity is a double-edged sword. While it’s positive that staff know their customers, there is often a lack of concrete action when it comes to registering signs of potential gambling issues or intervening appropriately.

The KSA found that while staff could recognize regular players, they were not always equipped or trained to take necessary actions. This points to a need for better training and protocols to ensure that staff can effectively address any signs of gambling addiction.

Long play times are generally viewed as a risk factor for gambling addiction. However, the methods for monitoring this vary among arcades and are often insufficient. Notably, none of the inspected arcades enforce a maximum play time, which is particularly concerning for those operating 24 hours a day. This lack of effective monitoring means that players can spend excessive amounts of time and money without intervention. Implementing stricter monitoring and enforcing maximum play times could be a significant step in reducing the risk of addiction.

All visited arcades allowed play on multiple slot machines simultaneously and the booking of machines. While not prohibited, these practices can contribute to excessive gambling behavior. Allowing players to engage with multiple machines at once increases the speed at which they can lose money, heightening the risk of addiction. By limiting the number of machines a player can use at one time, arcades can create a safer environment. This change could help slow down the pace of play and give players more time to make considered decisions.

Many arcades do not adequately monitor other indicators of excessive gambling, such as frequent or prolonged visits and numerous transactions per visit. These patterns can be strong indicators of gambling addiction, and failing to monitor them means missing opportunities for early intervention. Implementing systems to track these indicators and train staff to recognize them is essential. By doing so, arcades can take proactive steps to identify and assist individuals who may be developing harmful gambling habits.

Following the inspections, the KSA sent letters to the visited arcades with specific areas for improvement. These letters outlined the findings and offered recommendations on how to enhance duty of care practices. Later this year, the KSA plans to issue comprehensive guidance for all license holders, detailing the points identified and providing specific recommendations. This guidance will be a valuable resource for arcades looking to improve their duty of care. By following the KSA’s recommendations, arcades can create a safer environment for all patrons.

In June 2024, the KSA announced an increase in fines for illegal gambling terminals. Basic fines now range from €25,000 to €100,000 per device, compared to the previous range of €7,500 to €20,000. This change aims to address the growing use of mobile devices and other terminals for illegal gambling activities. These increased fines send a strong message about the importance of complying with regulations. For arcades, it underscores the need to ensure that all gaming terminals are legal and properly monitored.

The KSA’s findings highlight several key areas where arcades can improve their duty of care practices. Here are some steps that arcades can take to create a safer gaming environment: Staff should be trained to recognize and act on signs of potential gambling issues. This includes understanding the indicators of excessive gambling and knowing how to intervene appropriately. Regular training sessions can help keep staff up-to-date with best practices and new regulations.

Implementing effective systems to monitor play time is essential. This could include setting maximum play times and using technology to track how long each player spends on the machines. By doing so, arcades can identify players who may be at risk and take steps to intervene. Limiting the number of machines a player can use at one time can help reduce the risk of excessive gambling. This policy can slow down the pace of play and give players more time to consider their actions. Clear communication of this policy to patrons is also important to ensure compliance.

In addition to monitoring play time, arcades should track other indicators of excessive gambling. This includes frequent or prolonged visits and numerous transactions per visit. Implementing systems to monitor these patterns can help identify players who may need support. The upcoming comprehensive guidance from the KSA will provide valuable insights and recommendations. Arcades should closely follow this guidance and implement the recommended practices. Doing so will not only help create a safer environment but also ensure compliance with regulations. The KSA’s recent inspections have highlighted the need for improved duty of care in arcades across the Netherlands. For families and gamers, this means a safer environment where they can enjoy games without the risk of falling into harmful patterns. For entertainment industry stakeholders, it’s about maintaining a responsible and sustainable business.

Leave a Reply

Interested in our Solutions?


    Interested in our Domains?


      Contact