Dutch application for a complete advertising ban submitted

Derk Boswijk from the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party has submitted a motion for a complete ban on gambling advertising in the Netherlands.

The Dutch government imposed a ban on most forms of gambling advertising back in July. The change banned advertising across most media channels. These included television, radio and print media, while the rules also banned advertising in public places.

However, the laws still permitted targeted advertising in some contexts. This meant that advertising was still permitted on on-demand streaming services, social media, direct mail and online gaming environments.

According to Casino Nieuws, Boswijk’s aim with the application is to protect young people and vulnerable groups. He still feels like they are coming into contact with targeted advertising. Boswijk’s motion was also signed by fellow Dutch politicians Diederik van Dijk, Nicolien van Vroonhoven, Michiel van Nispen and Mirjam Bikker.

The motion will be voted on in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. This shows whether a total ban receives the necessary support.

Bikker has also submitted a request to introduce a comprehensive gambling limit for Dutch operators, as reported by Casino Nieuws. Bikker criticized Franc Weerwind, the Dutch minister for legal protection, for his lack of protection for vulnerable players.

The Netherlands’ growing commitment to player protection

In 2021, Bikker and Van Nispen introduced the motion that led to the current ban on untargeted advertising. This change in the law and this new proposal to go further is another indicator of the Dutch government’s plans to crack down on gambling advertising.

Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Dutch regulator, made it clear that the goal is for 95% of those viewing targeted advertising to be over 24 years old. The KSA only issued “limited” guidance on the ban and hoped operators would comply and be leaders on the issue.

In December, Weerwind introduced a series of new measures that he hoped would protect players from problem gambling following “worrying and undesirable developments” in the Dutch gambling industry.

The measures included requiring providers to contact players who have set a deposit limit of €350 (£303/$386). Weerwind’s other suggestions included specifying financial amounts in euros and calling for further research into across-the-board gaming limits.

In October, Weerwind announced a multi-year digital resilience campaign program to combat online gambling-related fraud.

The industry is fighting back

Growing regulatory pressure on operators has prompted the industry to defend itself, but at the same time warns that Weerwind’s plans could result in gambling being seen in a bad light.

Peter-Paul de Goeij, chairman of the Dutch Online Gambling Association (NOGA), warned Weerwind that his measures could lead to gambling being seen as “unattractive”.

“It is good that the minister is clarifying the rules for safe gambling and thus making the duty of care more concrete,” said De Goeij.

“At the same time, we must always ensure that legal gambling does not become too unattractive. We will carefully examine the proposal and make suggestions to improve it to achieve the desired effects.”

Meanwhile, Helma Lodders, chair of the Licensed Dutch Online Gambling Operators (VNLOK), highlighted two areas in Weerwind’s letter that require further examination.

“Firstly, the measures prescribed are actually effective in keeping the number of problem gamblers as low as possible,” explained Lodders.

“Secondly, that the legal offer remains sufficiently attractive for the vast majority of players who participate responsibly.” The latter is important in order to prevent them from resorting to illegal supply again.”

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