Aftercare by Holland Casino

Following an article in the AD, journalist and former client of Castle Craig Mick Boskamp felt very despondent and powerless.

Today I tried to read an article on the Nieuwe Revu site, but that was made impossible by an advertisement from the internet gambling company Unibet, which has spent 4 million euros on marketing in NL in two months, resulting in 100.000 new members for this cunning bookmaker. Usually a cross on which you can click the ad away. But the aggressive Unibet does not do that. And Nieuwe Revu, not the only paper magazine that sees its income dwindle in these difficult times, so let it be. Bad thing.

But I became even angrier when I recently read an article in the AD with the headline 'Aftercare conversation and playing limits: problem gamblers must be better protected'. The article was about that Holland Casino and the Dutch Lottery (Toto, among others) believe that the rules regarding online gambling should be further developed.

I think! Last week it was a year ago that the online gambling market started in the Netherlands with ten legal providers. That number has now risen to 22, including international giants such as the aforementioned Unibet. Every month, the Dutch play for 80 to 90 million on the money within raking gambling sites. So that's not a waste of money.

It can be guessed that the problems for problem gamblers will only get bigger as a result. In the entire article, the word gambling addicts occurs only twice instead of problem users. Below is the first time. When the journalist submits a statement to Petra de Ruiter, the new Holland Casino director:

The online gambling market started with 10 legal providers, now there are 22. Addiction experts fear a new generation of gambling addicts.

“22 providers is a lot, but let's not pretend that the online gambling market is new. It has been around for years, millions of Dutch people played at foreign sites, without any control. The goal now is to get everyone to play legally. That works out well: 85 percent of the players play with a licensed provider, 5 percent above the target set by the Gaming Authority.”

Not a word about gambling addicts in the answer from the director of Holland Casino, no respect whatsoever for what addiction experts say and even less empathy for the – excusez le mot – underprivileged of the gambling world.

I can understand why Petra de Ruiter avoids the v-word, because if you type your gambling addiction into Google, you will soon come across the most terrible messages. Like that in England at least 1 gambling addict takes the life every day. Of all the addictions in the world, most fatalities are among gambling addicts, with suicide at the top of the list. For the horrible, but simple reason that you can't stop completely draining and ruining yourself (and often your family). Financially and spiritually.

And then it is of course crazy that Holland Casino will monitor problem gamblers better. This is how it works: if things get out of hand and Holland Casino calls the problem gambler in question and that person does not answer three consecutive attempts, a restriction or ban will follow. If you think you can conquer a deadly, progressive and incurable disease that addiction really is, then you have a mountain of butter on your head.

But it can be a little more crooked if the boss of Holand Casino says in the article: "People who play online or in one of our branches for the first time after a gaming ban must first have an aftercare conversation." It is not stated anywhere in the document what that concern consists of. Not by the journalist and not by Petra de Ruiter.
You will just be a gambling addict, go into recovery and receive aftercare from Holland Casino. Sounds like food for nightmares to me.

ps. It is possible that Petra de Ruiter did indeed talk about the addiction problem in the conversation with the journalist, but that this did not make it into the article. In that case: mea culpa. A kind of.

pps. The ban on gambling advertisements would be introduced from January 1, 2023, but it is now expected that there will only be a possibility for this months later. At least after the World Cup, a period in which the gambling commercials will fly around your ears, with all the consequences that entails.