Dutch and Belgian Players Protected From Gambling Harm With Ad Ban

Updated On Jul 4, 2023 by Ella McDonald

Gambling Adverts BannedSummary:

  • Netherland and Belgium implemented a ban on gambling advertising on July 1, 2023
  • Gambling ads are totally banned in Belgium, Netherlands advertising online is still allowed
  • The measure aims to combat gambling addiction in vulnerable people

A ban on gambling advertising is now being implemented in Belgium and the Netherlands, with the measure taking effect from July 1.

Though the two countries differ in the extent to which gambling ads and marketing activities are banned in their respective jurisdictions, both share the same goal of protecting children and minors from gambling addiction.

Belgium was the first to announce plans for extensive advertising reforms, with Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne putting forward a proposal for an outright ban on gambling advertising in May 2022. Two months later, the Netherlands came up with its own advertising restrictions, courtesy of Minister for Legal Protection Franc Weerwind.

Belgium Implements Blanket Ban on Gambling Advertising

All forms of gambling advertising are now prohibited in Belgium under a Royal Decree backed by Van Quickenborne. Gambling firms are prohibited from promoting their products on television, radio, in cinemas, newspapers, magazines, and in public areas, as well as on websites and social media.

The Belgian government will introduce a further ban on in-stadium advertising as well as sports sponsorships starting 2025. The strict measures were challenged by sports and gambling industry stakeholders who were concerned the ban could result in a drop in sponsorship revenue.

A series of legal actions were launched in a bid to block the new advertising measures but they ended up being rejected by a Brussels court, paving the way for the ban to be implemented on the scheduled date.

“Untargeted” Advertising Now Prohibited in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, the government is implementing a ban on “untargeted” advertising, under which operators are not allowed to run ads across multiple platforms, including television, radio, and print. They are also prohibited from promoting their services in public spaces, including cinemas, cafes, and bus shelters, as well as land-based gaming venues such as casinos and slot machine arcades.

But unlike its Belgian counterpart, the Dutch government is still allowing advertising on digital platforms, including on social media, though operators need to comply with stringent requirements.

When the ban took effect on July 1, the Dutch gaming regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) issued a statement, warning operators to fully comply with the new rules or face enforcement action, though a fine may not be imposed immediately as indicated by Weerwind.

A blanket ban on gambling advertising in the Netherlands, just like the one in effect in Belgium, remains possible, with the Dutch government also wanting to terminate sports sponsorships by 2025.

Ella McDonald Author

Worldwide gambling related news stories are what you will find being written by Ella, she has a keen interest however in UK and European based new stories relating to all gaming environments, and she is always prepared to ask the difficult questions many other journalists avoiding asking those in power.

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