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The Netherlands to Prohibit Gambling Ads

Last update: May, 2024

Written by: Lisa Cheban Content writer
The Netherlands to Prohibit Gambling Ads

The Netherlands government has been floating the idea of banning gambling ads for a while now. Well, this is now a reality after Franc Weerwind, the Minister for Legal Protection, announced that the countrywide ban on untargeted betting ads will commence on July 1, 2023.

Weerwind first proposed banning gambling advertisements in public places, televisions, and radio stations in July 2022. But in October, the minister announced the postponement of the implementation to open more consultation channels as provided by the law.

Remember that Weerwind stated last month that the ban would go into effect before July 1 2023. The latest development only confirms the inevitable, clarifying the matter that has attracted lots of attention in the Netherlands.

Commenting on the ban, Weerwind said: “Advertising is necessary to make the legal offer of online games of chance known, so that people do not play illegally. 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, come into less contact with these advertisements and we limit the temptation to engage in high-risk games of chance,” the minister added.

Online Adverts Continue Under Strict Supervision

Beginning on July 1, 2023, all radio and TV advertisements, as well as those placed in public areas like billboards, will be illegal. However, operators will continue advertising online and via on-demand TV under stringent guidelines.

The government expects these operators to prevent their gambling commercials from reaching those under 24 years. The Dutch laws criminalize any advert targeting people of this age group.

In addition, operators must prove that at least 95% of their advertisements reach adults aged 24 and over. The law also requires online marketers to give customers the option to say whether or not they want to receive these advertisements.

As expected, the new regulations have a few critics, including Charlotte Hees, a Ministry of Justice and Security spokesperson, who says the blanket ban on gambling ads would lead customers to illegal gambling businesses. The official criticized the ministry for being “unrealistic” with the ban, saying the risk is too significant to foster illicit gambling.

“95% 24+ is strict, but it appears to be feasible based on an inventory of media parties. That may not be feasible on all websites and advertising is therefore no longer allowed there,” Hees said.

Meanwhile, all existing agreements will remain active for a predetermined period after the ban. Deals within the sports industry, such as jersey sponsorship agreements, will continue until July 1, 2025, while the term for sponsorship of TV programs and events will end on July 1, 2024.

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