A wide-ranging nationwide ban on gambling advertising is coming to the Netherlands' jurisdiction.
Dutch Minister for Legal Protection Franc Weerwind has confirmed July 1st as the date that a prohibition on untargeted gambling advertising will come into effect.
The ban was first announced a year ahead of time, in July 2022, by Weerwind.
The initial ban targeted adverts in public spaces, television, or radio, effective 1 January, addressing the consensus national priority of preventing children from seeing gambling advertising.
Weerwind recognised the need for advertising to channel players away from unlicensed offshore sites, but the greater government priority has prevailed:
As a government, we also have a duty to protect vulnerable groups against the risks of online games of chance.
Weerwind further clarified that the ban minimises the contact between “vulnerable groups, especially young people” and gaming advertisements, limiting “the temptation to engage in high-risk games of chance.”
The ban specifically targets “all television and radio adverts, as well as ads in public spaces, such as on billboards,” but online and television-on-demand ads will be allowed, “under strict conditions” after July 1.
Conditions for online advertising include permissions on social media and targeted marketing if operators prevent ads from reaching audiences under the age of 24.
New Operator Responsibility
Operators will be responsible for demonstrating a minimum of 95% of ads reach people over the age of 24 and offering all consumers the option of not seeing further gambling ads.
NL Spokesperson Explains Exceptions
Netherlands Ministry of Justice and Security Spokesperson Charlotte Hees explained the logic of allowing some ads to NL gaming news site Casinoniews while assuring that the government had taken public consultation feedback into careful consideration:
We have listened carefully to the advice that has been given; that is nowhere realistic, Then you get a total ban on advertising and the risk is too great that people end up on the path of illegal gambling.
Establishing the Minimum
Hees called the 95% minimum strict but appeared “feasible” based on examining media parties. She also indicated that the government had designated the minimum unfeasible in certain instances:
“That may not be feasible on all websites, and advertising is therefore no longer allowed there.”
With trade associations protesting that the ban disregards the prudence of operators, it looks as if the onus falls to operators to adapt with limited advertising to a market that appears fruitful enough to continue to deliver customers and sufficient revenues.