In an open message posted on Dutch gaming regulator’s website, Rene Jenson, Chair of Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) urged caution to online betting operators to adopt moderate advertising campaigns during the FIFA World Cup which will take place in Qatar later this month. He added that the regulator will ‘remain vigilant’ against illegal operators and enforcement measures would be exercised without hesitation in the event of abuse of the guidelines by regulated iGaming services.
Mr Jenson also drew attention to a letter sent to holders of gaming licences in the Dutch jurisdiction.
In June this year the Dutch government imposed a new law on advertising through gambling restricting the use of role models in advertising which included sports stars and celebrities and social media influencers. Mr Jenson referred to the clampdown in advertising by the Minister for Legal Protection Franc Weerwind who champions addiction prevention and is responsible for the gambling industry in the Dutch jurisdiction.
Mr Jenson appealed to licensees to take the necessary precautions to avoid further political reactions and restrictions.
He affirmed that the World Cup “is an excellent opportunity for the gaming industry to draw attention to the range of sports betting, nevertheless, I very much hope that the bombardment of advertising which forced Minister Franc Weerwind to intervene would not be repeated”.
In an initiative to reduce untargeted advertising that may encourage vulnerable players, a new legislation will be introduced on 1st January 2023 to prohibit some types of sports sponsorship by 2025 but this will not have an impact on advertising for the forthcoming World Cup. Mr Jensen explained “A total ban on untargeted advertising for high-risk games of chance is in the works. That is the political response to the many advertisements since the opening of the legal online gambling market on October 1, 2021”. It is a result of a unanimous decision by the House of Representatives to phase out untargeted advertising for casinos and slot machines.
Mr Jenson asserted that so far, the industry has “not excelled in displaying well-considered behaviour. Earning money quickly and gaining additional market share should not be considered more important than carefully and jointly building a sector where consumers can enjoy recreational and controlled participation in games of chance in a safe environment.”
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