Problem gamblers in the Netherlands

Zak en asA clear and undisputed definition of problem gambling does not exist. Also the concept of gambling addiction can be explained in various ways of risky of excessive gambling behavior. The lack of a good definition makes it hard to do proper research into problem gambling (in terms of numbers, risk factors, cause, and treatment).

Gambling addiction

Until now, the focus of research into problem gambling has been predominantly on prevalence studies. Studies about the effectiveness of responsible gambling policies and measures to prevent gambling addiction are also much needed, as empirical evidence is still scarce. It seems that relevant data on effective intervention in the light of responsible gambling is hard to come by.

Number of problem gamblers

The report ‘Gokken in Kaart’ (2011) estimates the number of problem gamblers in the Netherlands between 20.000 and 59.000 adult players. The number of players at risk is estimated at the number of 92.000.

In 2016, a baseline assessment has been conducted and commissioned by the WODC. This assessment will have a follow-up after the Draft Bill has come into effect to evaluate the policy effects.

The assessment had shown an estimate of 8.4 million players, approximately 95.700 (between 52.700 and 124.800) risk players and approximately 79.000 (between 52.700 and 105.500) problem gamblers.

Comparison with the prevalence rates in previous reports is difficult, also because of the changed questionnaires.