The Netherlands recently decided that it may take a softer stance on gambling loss limits, but it’s not going soft on the entire gambling ecosystem. Instead, it plans on introducing an almost complete ban on gambling ads, as well as sports sponsorships.
The Ministry of Legal Protection is emphasizing the new rules, bowing to pressure from legislators who want a tight gambling regime. The ban prohibits operators from advertising on television, radio, or public spaces, indoors or out, beginning January 2023.
In addition, a separate ban on the sponsorship of events and TV programs will take effect starting January 2024. At the same time, sponsorship of sports shirts or venues will be prohibited starting a year later.
Gambling Advertising Loses Footing
The ministry stated that the gradual elimination will benefit the sports industry. It will allow teams and sports organizations to find alternative sponsors. In order to ensure compliance, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Dutch gambling regulator, will monitor the space and will intervene immediately if there are any violations.
For the first offense, an operator will most likely receive a warning. After that, however, failure to take corrective measures could lead to fines.
Franc Weerwind, Minister for Legal Protection, has previously acknowledged that advertisements are beneficial for separating the legal from the illegal platforms. However, he has advocated for a reasonable solution that facilitate promotions while avoiding a complete elimination.
However, Weerwind recognizes that a ban is necessary for player protection. It will help reduce the potential for gambling harm while still allowing the industry to flourish.
Today we have taken an important step towards further curbing gambling advertisements. Advertising is a means of directing people to the legal offer, but the importance of addiction prevention is more important,” said Minister for Legal Protection Franc Weerwind
The government stated that it will allow online and direct marketing. However, it plans on tightening the rules to limit exposure of the ads to vulnerable groups.
Bad Timing for Kindred
Kindred stopped operating in the Netherlands before the market opened in order to comply with requirements laid out by the Dutch government. At the time, it stated that this could have a negative impact on earnings up to €170.1 million (US$171.1 million)
However, it’s now officially back in business in the Dutch market. It received its license a little more than a month ago and is now live. It launched its Unibet gaming platform yesterday under the domain Unibet.nl.
The launch hasn’t gone well too well. The KSA is already fielding complaints about bonuses on the platform. Unibet has acknowledged that it has experienced issues, but assures the regulator that it is finding a solution.
Unibet, in June, signed a partnership with soccer team Ajax of the Dutch Eredivisie, the highest level of soccer in the Netherlands. However, both will now have to begin looking for alternative solutions based on the Ministry of Legal Protection’s latest decree.
The KSA is going to be busy going forward. It is still cracking down on unlicensed operators, like Gammix, which it just ordered to exit the market.
In addition, it is going to have to closely monitor the airwaves for gambling ads. It’s likely that some operators will try to find a creative way around the ban, which means more work for the regulator.
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