6 January 2024

Ban on advertising for remote gambling operators

Category: gambling law, Gaming law, Vergunningen

On July 1, 2023 the ban on untargeted remote gambling advertising went into effect in the Netherlands. The ban aims to better protect vulnerable groups like young adults from the risk of gambling addiction. Recruitment and advertising activities may therefore not reach minors, young adults and other vulnerable groups.

Strict advertsing rules for gambling in the Netherlands

This means that advertising on TV and radio and in newspapers and magazines is prohibited as of July 1. Advertising in public places, such as billboards and bus shelters, and in buildings accessible to the public, such as gaming casinos, amusement arcades, cinemas and pubs, is also not allowed. Advertising via the Internet, direct mailing, on-demand TV, social media or in the online gaming environment, among others, remains permitted under strict conditions.

New rules for advertising monitored by the Gambling Authority KSA

The Dutch Gaming Authority (Ksa) is monitoring compliance with the new rules and has informed its licensees about the new regulations in advance. Now that the ban is in effect, the Ksa will actively monitor how the new advertising rules and obligations for licensees are applied in practice. Should this lead to further interpretation or clarification of the rules, the sector will be informed in a timely manner by Ksa. The Ksa warns its remote gambling licensees not to push the limits. When the Ksa encounters evident violations, it will take immediate enforcement action. Tips for the application fo an remote gambling licence you can read here.

Summary of 2023 adverstising rules from KSA

For all remote gambling providers the following advertising rules apply. When you are advertising a game of chance you must comply with the advertising rules as described in the Games of Chance Act, and amongst others the following rules:

  • you will not use personal data that you have processed in connection with these persons’ participation in another game of chance, as referred to in the Games of Chance Act.
  • do not broadcast advertisements for games of chance between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. on radio and TV. These time slots for games of chance advertising apply under the 2008 Media Act. Please note that a different time window applies to certain games of chance.
  • you may not advertise in games or on websites or applications where games are offered
  • you align your advertising and recruitment policy with the results of the mandatory risk analysis and your addiction prevention policy.
  • do not target your advertising at persons aged between 18 and 24 who have excluded themselves from participating in the game of chance you organize.
  • do not combine advertising with statements about addiction prevention, for example, if you inform a player about the limits of playing behavior. Nor may you target advertising to persons who use certain facilities within the framework of addiction prevention or care.
  • you may not advertise during sporting events, horse racing or horseracing, other than on the gaming interface you operate, if such advertising is aimed at spectators of or viewers of these activities
  • do not use role models such as influencers, (former) professional athletes and models in your advertising An exception applies to non-gambling related activities of role models in local establishments of gaming casinos and slot machine halls. Sponsorship of (teams of) professional athletes is also permitted.
  • on your website or ‘gaming interface’ you may not advertise goods or services other than the games of chance for which you have a license from the gaming authority.
  • the information the player receives about the limits of his playing behavior may not contain advertising. Also the area of the player interface where the player can indicate or change the limits of his playing behavior may not contain advertising
  • a number of topics have been added to the already existing periodic reporting obligation on advertising and recruitment to the Gaming Authority. You will soon also report on the total amount of bonuses you have paid out and how you have aligned recruitment and advertising with the results of the risk analyses per type of game of chance, where applicable.

Sponsoring of remote gambling also suject to new advertising rules

Sponsorship is also a form of untargeted advertising and thus falls under the ban. Sponsorship usually is a neutral display of the logo or name of the gaming provider. For sponsorship, it applies unreservedly that the licensee’s name or logo may not appear in the same expression as the image, voice or name of a role model. Furthermore, sponsorship, through its content, medium or otherwise, may not target vulnerable groups, including minors and young adults. A transition period applies to existing sponsorship contracts, i.e., concluded before July 1, 2023. The transition period for sponsorship of TV programs and events lasts until July 1, 2024.

Compliance with the new gambling advertising regulation

We believe that the new advertising rules may be subject to discussion. We advise you to ask clarification from Ksa when you are in doubt about the meaning, interpretation or execution of the new advertising rules. Our gambling lawyers are also happy to assist you in compliance issues or KSA enforcement.