The Belgian National Lottery (BNL) has halted all forms of sports betting advertising during the 2022 Fifa World Cup, which began last Sunday, in a bid to protect consumers who suffer from problem gambling and to prevent gambling-related harm.

The decision was taken in consultation with Belgium’s Minister for Finance Vincent Van Peteghem and sees the BNL halt all sports betting advertising on television, radio and in the written press for the duration of the tournament, which runs until 18th December.

The finance minister is also responsible for the Lottery and remarked that consumers are more likely to place bets during a national football team competition such as the highly popular World Cup games. He backed up his comments with a study by the Commission on the 2018 World Cup, where it was noted that half of new registrations were first time gamblers.

“The National Lottery is playing a pioneering role in the protection of players and the fight against gambling addiction…At a football world championship, the sport and the supporter experience must be central,” said Mr Van Peteghem.

“Sports betting advertising should have no place in broadcasts or reports via television, radio and written press. The National Lottery is already setting a good example by not advertising its sports betting on these channels.”

Belgium has been targeting responsible gambling measures in recent months. In October, it introduced a new €200 weekly loss limit.

Featured Image:

Brussels, Belgium

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