Netherlands to Ban Many Ads for Online Gambling Services Starting July 1
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (April 19, 2023) — The Dutch Cabinet has announced plans to ban all advertising for online gambling services if they do not specifically target people who are legally allowed to gamble and are not at an increased risk of developing an addiction. The ban covers all radio and television commercials, as well as outdoor billboards, the Dutch daily newspaper ‘NL Times’ reported today.
“After a transitional period, sponsorship for online games of chance, for example, for TV programs or sports clubs, will also fall under the prohibition. Advertising on the internet and video-on-demand will only be allowed under strict conditions,” the newspaper reported the Ministry of Justice and Security said in a statement on Wednesday.
Additionally, advertising over the Internet will also be heavily restricted, though it will not be forbidden. Organizations that display gambling adverts must allow users to opt out of seeing them. Gambling companies will be required to ensure that their advertising is only seen by people 24 years of age or older and that people vulnerable to gambling addiction do not see the adverts. They must also be able to prove that a minimum of 95 per cent of their advertising reaches people who are at least 24 years old. The same rules apply not only to websites, but also to social media, video-on-demand, and direct mail campaigns.
Online gambling was officially legalized in the Netherlands in October 2021, causing a massive surge in advertising for the services. The ministry said it was specifically concerned about the volume of “untargeted advertising,” and defended its decision. “Vulnerable groups, therefore, unintentionally saw a lot of advertising for this risky product.” The advertising rules were already tightened in July 2022 to block celebrities and other famous people from appearing in the advertisements.
While it is necessary to advertise legal services, Legal Protection Minister Franc Weerwind said, “At the same time, as a government, we also have a duty to protect vulnerable groups against the risks of online games of chance. With this ban, vulnerable groups, especially young people, will come into contact with these advertisements less frequently, and we will limit the temptation to start playing high-risk games of chance.”
The transition period for sponsorships tied to sports clubs will end on July 1, 2025. The sponsorship of television programs and events must end by July 1, 2024. The transition period is to give these organizations time to evaluate the financial impact and find new sponsors.
SOURCE: NL Times.Tags: online gambling services, Advertising, Dutch Cabinet