Belgian Gambling Regulator Backs More Ad Restrictions

April 28, 2022
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The Belgium Gaming Commission has published its views on gambling advertising, revealing support for more restrictions and for its enforcement powers to be expanded.

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The Belgium Gaming Commission has published its views on gambling advertising, revealing support for more restrictions and for its enforcement powers to be expanded.

Belgium’s gambling regulator said it wants additional advertising restrictions to primarily focus on protecting the most vulnerable people in society and to reduce the volume of gambling adverts.

In a bid to create a more modern and flexible regulatory framework, the commission also suggests a sort of “co-regulation”, saying it should be granted the ability to impose directives on operators.

“Experience has shown an exhaustive list of prohibitions relating to advertising content, as it currently appears in Article 2 of the Royal Decree of 25 October 2018, is not sufficient to prevent abuses or excesses and that certain rules quickly become obsolete and unenforceable,” the regulator said.

Among a raft of suggested “strict rules” for advertising, the gaming commission backs banning personalised advertising toward young people and excluded players, as well as individuals that have not participated in gambling “for a certain period of time”.

A warning message should also be included in gambling adverts, according to the Gaming Commission, and consumers should be given the right to choose whether or not they receive any personalised advertising.

The gambling regulator has said it also supports a ban on advertising in certain areas, such as public transport stations, although it did not provide a full list of potential spaces the ads should not appear.

Similarly, despite supporting setting a maximum volume of authorised gambling adverts, the regulator did not include a suggestion as to what would be an appropriate amount to limit them to.

The regulator also supports limiting the people who are authorised to advertise gambling products.

The gaming commission said it was “anxious” to voice its opinion on advertising, as it said the government has announced it intends to adopt rules restricting advertising for gambling soon.

Part of the commission’s remit is to advise the government and parliament on any legal or regulatory initiative related to gambling. The regulator reported that it had sent its advice on advertising to the government.

In the past, members of the gaming commission have spoken out against a complete gambling advertising ban during a parliamentary hearing, arguing a ban would not have much impact on reducing gambling stakes and risk strengthening the black market.

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