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Minister Weerwind's Campaign against Online Gambling Fraud

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The Dutch government is taking proactive measures to address growing concerns about digital fraud, particularly in the context of online gambling. Franc Weerwind, the Netherlands' Minister for Legal Protection, recently announced the launch of a comprehensive, multi-year digital resilience campaign program aimed at combatting fraud associated with online gambling.

The decision to initiate this campaign was prompted by mounting apprehensions raised by parliamentarians regarding various online gambling-related crimes, including match-fixing facilitated through social media platforms.

Netherlands' Minister Addresses Online Scams

Weerwind highlighted that the campaign's primary focus would be on educating and raising awareness among young people. The campaign's messaging aims to equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to identify scams and offers that may seem too good to be true.

This announcement follows a report by the AD news site alleging that social media influencers were involved in defrauding individuals of thousands of euros by promoting fake sports results through platforms like Telegram.

The Minister clarified that there was no concrete evidence linking the targeted young individuals to match-fixing or confirming the manipulation of any sporting events. However, he expressed deep concern over the vulnerability of young people to fraudsters.

Furthermore, Weerwind emphasized the undesirability of influencers endorsing risky games of chance. He noted that gambling companies are prohibited from using role models who appeal to young audiences to advertise their products.

Fraud and incitement to commit criminal acts are harmful and punishable. In this case, it is done under the guise of 'making quick money through sports betting.' The so-called manipulated results are purchased from scammers on Telegram and paid for with cryptocurrency. People are being scammed, and citizen awareness of online scams can help prevent victimization.

Franc WeerwindNetherlands' Minister for Legal Protection

Dutch Government's Response to Online Gambling Concerns

Addressing concerns about the potential social problems associated with the legalization of online gambling, Weerwind cautiously refrained from pre-judging the impact of the Remote Gaming Act, scheduled for review in 2024. He noted that he had already made adjustments within the legal framework, such as banning the use of role models for advertising as of June 30, 2022, and untargeted advertising for online gambling as of July 1, 2023. Addiction prevention remains a central focus of his policy efforts.

Earlier this year, the Dutch government acknowledged the inadequacies of the current system and pledged to introduce new rules to enhance the prevention of gambling addiction in early 2024.

In addition to the comprehensive digital resilience campaign, the Dutch gambling regulator, KSA, is gearing up to launch a scheme aimed at increasing brand awareness for the self-exclusion service Cruks among different target groups. Additional initiatives include a program developed by the Trimbos Institute, designed to identify and provide guidance for risky or problematic gambling behavior among young adults, with plans to introduce it in schools starting in 2024.

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