Belgian gambling regulator introduces advertising guidelines

Measures include a ban on partnerships with unlicensed operators.
Measures include a ban on partnerships with unlicensed operators.

The national regulator has developed the guidelines together with Belgium’s top football league.

Belgium.- The Belgian Gaming Commission has developed a series of responsible advertising guidelines with the country’s highest football league, the Jupiler Pro League.

New measures include a ban on partnerships between the league’s clubs with gambling operators that are not licensed by the commission to operate in Belgium. 

All gambling sponsorship deals must be reported to the commission. Meanwhile, the commission will inform the Pro League whenever an operators has committed an infringement or if an operator loses its licence so that the league and the relevant club can take action.

The guidelines also say that gambling advertising must not include an inducement to bet.

The commission said that it will also prohibit betting “on certain stages of a match” but has not yet clarified what stage the rule refers to.

It will also create an independent integrity committee comprising academic and sporting representatives to monitor club policies and propose integrity recommendations.

The two bodies said in a joint statement: “The absolute starting point of communication and marketing around games of chance and betting is the protection of consumers.

“It is essential that excessive gambling should be prevented as much as possible. That is why the Gaming Commission and the Pro League want to go further than what is legally imposed today.”

The changes follow a trend for more regulatory intervention in gaming sponsorship in football, but stop a long way from the measures taken in Spain which has banned all gambling sponsorships.

In the UK, the English Football League has defended the relationship between football and gambling.

Earlier in the year, the Belgian Gambling Commission created a new working group to work on ideas for how to tackle unlicensed gambling operations in the country.

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