The government has launched a consultation on the proposal to ban all broadcast gambling advertising from January 1.
The Netherlands.- Gambling operators in the Netherlands were surprised earlier this week to learn that the Dutch government plans to ban all TV, radio and outdoor gambling advertising from January 1. Gambling sponsorship arrangements would be phased out in two stages over subsequent years – first media sponsorship from January 2024, and then all sports sponsorship in 2025.
The government has now launched a first-stage consultation on the proposed ban to seek feedback from all those affected, including “consumers, media agencies, sports clubs and gambling operators”. The consultation will run until September 4.
The government has told the Ministry of Legal Protections to define “untargeted adverts” and to clarify the technical resources that will be required to impose the ban. It’s believed that the Dutch regulator, KSA, would be responsible for policing the new measures, but it’s not yet clear whether the state-owned lottery will also be included in the ban. If it isn’t, other gambling operators are very likely to challenge the decision.
While MPs have called for action on untargeted gambling ads due to what they see as a saturation since the regulated online gambling market launched in October, Franc Weerwind, who as minister for legal protections has responsibility for gambling, said he opposed a blanket ban because he saw advertising as necessary for channelling to the regulated market.
Weerwind now argues that the proposed advertising ban will not unbalance channelling goals and that the phased approach would give operators time to adapt. Online and direct advertising will still be allowed.
However, the gambling industry groups VNLOK and NOGA claim that gambling operators were denied the right to demonstrate the effectiveness of their self-regulatory measures. They reached an agreement on a code of conduct in March to reduce advertising saturation and improve targeting.
At the start of this month, the Netherlands introduced a ban on the use of role models in gambling advertising.