Netherlands Gaming Authority imposes ban on untargeted advertising

26 May 2023
(PRESS RELEASE) -- The ban on untargeted advertising for online games of chance will come into force on 1 July. The ban should better protect vulnerable groups, including young people, against the risk of gambling addiction. The Netherlands Gaming Authority monitors compliance with the new rules and has informed license holders about the upcoming changes in the regulations.
The ban on untargeted advertising for remote games of chance
Recruitment and advertising activities should not reach minors, young adults and other vulnerable groups. This means that advertising on TV and radio and in newspapers and magazines is prohibited from 1 July. Advertising in public places, such as billboards and bus shelters, and in buildings accessible to the public, such as gaming casinos, slot machine arcades, cinemas and cafes, is not permitted.
Advertising via the internet, direct mailing, on-demand TV, social media or in the online gaming environment remains permitted under certain conditions. Permit holders have a best-efforts obligation to take measures to ensure that vulnerable groups are not confronted with the advertisements. In addition, there will be a result obligation for the reach of advertising messages that at least 95% of the people reached must be 24 years or older. Providers must be able to demonstrate that they comply with this. Recipients must also have the option to indicate that they do not wish to receive the advertising. Providers must monitor the reach of their advertisements themselves and be able to show an associated report to the Ksa on request. The Ksa has indicated to providers that advertising on the games of chance interface of providers does not fall under the advertising ban, because this concerns a form of targeted advertising to visitors to the website. In addition, it is still not allowed to target bonuses at vulnerable groups, including young adult players.
Hybrid providers
If a license holder offers both online and country-specific games of chance, advertisements must only be regarded as advertising for the physical (country-specific) games of chance. The advertising that is permitted may not closely resemble advertising for online games of chance or give the public the reasonable impression that those activities (partly) promote online games of chance.
Sponsorship is also a form of untargeted advertising and therefore falls under the prohibition. Sponsorship involves a neutral statement or display of the logo or name of the games of chance provider. With regard to sponsorship, the license holder's name or logo may not appear in the same communication as the image, voice or name of a role model. In addition, sponsorship, whether by content, medium or otherwise, should not be directed to vulnerable groups, including minors and young adults.
A transitional period applies to existing sponsorship contracts, i.e., concluded before 1 July 2023. The transitional period for sponsoring TV programs and events lasts until 1 July 2024. Sponsoring (teams of) athletes, clubs and competitions and shirts and other material will remain permitted until 1 July 2025. After 1 July 2023, new to conclude agreements. Extending or changing existing sponsorship agreements is also not permitted after this.
Surveillance Ksa
From the entry into force of the advertising ban, the Ksa monitors how the new advertising rules and obligations for permit holders are implemented in practice. If this leads to a further interpretation or clarification of the rules, the sector will be informed in good time.