KSA Warns Dutch Online Casino Operators to Remove Autoplay Feature

  • A gambler reported being able to use autoplay on an online slot game
  • The KSA discovered that the operator had a few games that offered this autoplay feature
  • Autoplay is illegal in the Netherlands as it can increase the risk of irresponsible gambling
  • The regulated online gambling market in the Netherlands launched in October
Person pressing the "play game" button on a slot machine
The KSA has warned Dutch online gambling operators about offering autoplay as part of online slot games. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Numerous games offering autoplay

The Dutch gambling regulator has warned online casino operators in the country about offering an autoplay feature on slot games. The Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) issued this reminder to operators after receiving a report from a gambler who had access to autoplay when playing a game on an unidentified platform. Dutch law prohibits gambling operators from offering an autoplay feature.

users were able to continually play spin after spin automatically as long as they had sufficient credits

For the site in question, users were able to continually play spin after spin automatically as long as they had sufficient credits. Research from the KSA found that at least three games on the platform had this sort of functionality.

Since the KSA became aware of the issue, the option is no longer available on the offending licensee’s site. The operator has also removed all games from the platform that have any sort of autoplay feature.

A ban in place

If the license holder did not resolve the matter, it would have faced a potential cease and desist order, as well as a fine of as much as €300,000 ($326,214). The KSA will be checking games offered by other operators to make sure that similar features are not in place.

Explaining the reasoning behind not allowing autoplay, the KSA said “A player must make a conscious choice for each subsequent game to continue playing.” The reason for prohibition relates to the heightened risk of gambling addiction if automatic play is possible, as players do not consciously choose to play another spin if the feature is in place and people can easily lose control.

There is a ban on autoplay for online casino games in many jurisdictions. The UK Gambling Commission introduced a ban on autoplay in October 2021, while the recently launched iGaming market in Ontario, Canada also has a similar ban in place.

Teething issues in the Netherlands

The licensed online gambling market in the Netherlands only launched in October 2021. An initial group of ten licenses was handed out. The issuance of another ten licenses is expected later on in 2022. All unlicensed operators were ordered to stop targeting Dutch residents in advance of the regulated market launch.

Early data suggests that the Dutch online gambling market might not be as big as initially anticipated. The KSA recently revealed that people created 634,000 online gambling accounts between October 2021 and the beginning of March.

The KSA has been kept busy since the market launch, issuing frequent reminders to operators about their various duties. One of the other notable issues to arise in recent months related to online advertising campaigns. The KSA had discovered advertising campaigns from three different operators that could potentially appeal to vulnerable people like young adults and minors.

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