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Netherlands poised to ban gambling ads & shirt sponsorships

Gambling ad restrictions around the world

Netherlands authorities have decided to impose harsh restrictions on gambling advertisements. While making some concessions on gambling loss limits, the country recently revealed its intention to pass regulations that would affect gambling promotional ads along with sports sponsorships.

According to the Minister of Legal Protection, Franc Weerwind, the new rules would give the gambling industry more control. The ban to prohibit promotion of gambling on television, radio, and public spaces will take place from January 2023. Operators would be left with the option of advertising their business online but would be tightly monitored by the government to ensure vulnerable people are not taken advantage of.

Besides the gambling ad ban, a second phase was announced, preventing the gambling operators from being the sponsors of sporting events and television programs. The restriction will reportedly come into effect in January 2024. In a year, the ban will extend to halting sponsorship displays on sports shirts and advertising gambling at sporting venues.

To ensure the parties involved conformed to the bill, the Dutch gambling regulator, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), would keep watch over the space and step in if any gambling operator violated the terms.

The offending gambling operator will most likely receive a warning after committing the first offense, after which the gambling regulator will be free to issue fines.

Minister Weerwind previously talked about advertisements, declaring that they were helpful when differentiating legal platforms from their illegal counterparts. In more recent news, the ministers seem to have taken a different stance, advocating solutions to aid promotion and holding back total elimination. 

READ: Italy extends sports betting licenses until June 2024

While speaking on the bill, Minister Weerwind referred to it as an essential move to aid player protection and cut back on the harm of gambling while, at the same time, letting the industry thrive. Minister Weerwind said the bill was a significant step “towards further curbing gambling advertisements”. It would also let sports teams and organizations locate other sponsors for their clubs.

Weerwind concluded, “Advertising is a means of directing people to the legal offer, but the importance of addiction prevention outweighs it. With this, I want to protect vulnerable groups such as young people in particular.” 

The proposal was presented a month after Weerwind highlighted how much excessive gambling could harm young people during an interactive session in the House of Representatives. At the time, he said the country must tread cautiously while moving forward with the reforms. He also disclosed that his proposal for the restrictions would give the sports group ample time to locate different sponsors, so their revenue streams would not be affected. 

The ban will be in talks this week and then transferred to a period of public consultations. This will last eight weeks, and then each stakeholder is expected to turn in evidence and comments concerning the bill. The associated proposal will be moved to the House of Representatives as well as the Senate while the public discussions are ongoing. If the decree goes through, the proposed changes will affect several high-flying soccer teams in the Netherlands and gambling operators. 

Due to a number of requirements laid out by the Dutch government, the Kindred Group ceased operations in the Netherlands before the market was made accessible. According to reports, the group stood to lose up to €170.1 million (US$171.1m).

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