KSA issues red card over football club’s planned celebration

KSA issues red card over football club’s planned celebration

The Dutch gambling regulator says plans for a giant ad on a city building would breach the country’s ban on gambling adverts.

The Netherlands.- Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has blocked an unnamed football club’s plans to celebrate its performance by draping a building in a giant ad featuring an image of its captain. The gambling regulator said the billboard would breach the Netherlands’ ban on gambling ads.

The KSA warned the municipality and the football club involved that a preventive sanction would be issued if the advert went ahead. The problem is the logo of the club’s sponsor, an igaming provider, on the team’s shirt. The KSA said this meant the placement would breach the ban on untargeted gambling advertising.

The sponsor and the team argued that the case counted as sports sponsorship, with the brand a neutral background detail in comparison to the focus on the player or clothing. However, the KSA said such a defence only applies when the player is shown performing duties in a professional setting, for example, pictured on the pitch in match coverage. It added that the advert would also breach rules against using role models in gambling advertisements.

The KSA noted that advertising for online gambling in public spaces is prohibited because it is a form of advertising through which “it is impossible to exclude vulnerable target groups, such as young adults”.

New KSA chairman

Meanwhile, Michel Groothuizen has been appointed as chairman of the Dutch gambling regualtor Kansspelautoriteit (KSA). He will succeed René Jansen from July 1.

Groothuizen is deputy director general of the Judicial Institutions Service. He was previously director general at the Netherlands Institute for Forensic Psychiatry and was policy director at the Ministry of Justice and Security’s administrative department. That latter role included overseeing the creation of the KSA in 2012 and work on the development of what would become legislation to open a regulated online gambling market, which was finally implemented in 2021.

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