Cashback Bonuses Stopped by Dutch Gambling Authority

Cashback Bonuses Stopped by Dutch Gambling Authority ( Click to Enlarge )

An interesting move was recently predicted by a select few online gambling experts. This is that the Dutch Gambling Authority has stopped allowing licensees to offer cashback bonuses. As you might expect, this decision has led to quite a bit of controversy.

No More Cashback Bonuses, Says Dutch Gambling Authority

The Kansspelautoriteit, known as the KSA for short, is the authority for all gambling in the Netherlands. This includes gambling online in its various forms. Along these lines, they’re in charge of deciding what can and cannot fly for numerous aspects of the industry.

One such element is which types of promotions can be made available. A recent decision on this point has stirred quite a bit of controversy.

The KSA has put out guidance to operators that cashback bonuses are no longer allowed. They have a variety of reasons for this. However, many are arguing that the reasoning isn’t particularly sound. Nonetheless, according to the rules already in place, it’s easy to see how they have banned this common promotional approach.

With that said, the way they’ve arrived at this decision is pretty interesting. Additionally, it has implications for players and operators alike in the future.

The Reasoning for the Cashback Bonus Ban

Under existing law in the Netherlands, advertisements are not allowed to encourage any type of gaming behavior that is not deemed moderate. The argument from the KSA is that cashback bonuses do promote this type of banned message. Additionally, since gambling bonuses are legally considered advertising simply by existing, you can see how they arrived at this conclusion.

Just to be clear, what this means is that all bonuses constitute advertising. That’s whether or not they are actually themselves advertised through any normal means. As you might imagine, this is one of the points of contention among a variety of gambling experts. However, that is what the law says regardless of how anyone feels about it.

As for why cashback bonuses are being singled out, the exact logic is interesting to say the least. They’ve put out the belief that since players get back a portion of their losses that it encourages people to wager more than they would otherwise. While we’re all in favor of protecting players, some people believe that this sets up a slippery slope.

The KSA’s Potential Slippery Slope Issue

The crux of the slippery slope argument is as follows. If any type of offer that could lead to someone gambling more than they otherwise would is banned, then that effectively makes it so that no types of offers are allowed at all. Put another way, imagine they come for cashback bonuses with this logic. No other bonuses will be allowed. It’s an argument that’s difficult to find a flaw with. However, if that’s the way that the KSA wants it, then that’s the way it will be regardless.

On the other hand, you have some experts who think that this slippery slope argument is alarmist at best. From this group, we’re hearing the idea that the cashback setup is unique among promotions in general. The reasoning is that a cashback bonus sets up a direct correlation between losing money and being rewarded. Accordingly, we can understand that argument as well. It’s difficult to know where to draw the line, and that’s why we see this handled so differently in a variety of jurisdictions.

What Players Can Expect

If you’re from the Netherlands, then you can just expect no cashback-style bonuses in the future. However, if you’re from other parts of the world, this can still affect you. That’s because different jurisdictions often get ideas and inspirations from each other. It’s absolutely feasible that other European nations and their gambling regulatory bodies will target these types of promotions. If that happens, then you could see these bonuses pulled in other parts of the world. While that’s not an absolute given, it’s the kind of thing that we could definitely see happening. With that said, only time will tell if that’s the case or not.