Dutch Ad Group Rejects Complaints Against Bet365, State Lottery

April 7, 2022
The Dutch Advertising Code Foundation has rejected complaints against adverts run by the Dutch State Lottery and bet365.


The Dutch Advertising Code Foundation has rejected complaints against adverts run by the Dutch State Lottery and bet365.

The self-regulatory ad organisation did not agree with a complaint suggesting that ads for the UK online sports-betting company calling it the “number one for sports” were misleading even though the slogan does not mean that the company provides support for Dutch sports associations.

It also denied a complaint that argued a Staatsloterij advertisement was misleading for appearing to suggest that a lottery customer would “for sure” win €27.7m on December 10, when many lottery jackpots roll over to another date if no one chooses the winning numbers.

The news comes as controversy over gambling advertising has grown in the Netherlands, with minister for legal protection Franc Weerwind promising to draft amendments to the Gambling Act that would severely restrict gambling ads and two Dutch gambling trade groups agreeing to new self-regulatory measures.

In the House of Representatives this week, member Mirjam Bikker pressed Weerwind to ban sports sponsorships as well as gambling advertising.

Weerwind said he was happy that the industry had voluntarily taken steps to restrict advertising, but was uncertain whether there was a consensus in parliament on whether sports sponsorships by gambling companies should be prohibited.

“In order to impose a ban on sponsor advertisements and the like, I am looking for a clear answer from your House,” he told Bikker.

UK-based bet365 is one of only about a dozen Dutch online gambling licensees so far. Operators including Betsson, Kindred Group and Entain have been prevented from applying for a licence from the October 1, 2021 opening of the online market by a cooling-off period for companies that have been considered to have offered online gambling to Dutch residents before it was legal.

The advertising foundation’s ruling, which was handed down last month, did not identify bet365, but centred on the company’s Dutch slogan, “De nummer één voor sport”.

The foundation said phrases such as "become a member", "play consciously 18+", "new customers" and "receive up to €100 in betting credits" imply that the “advertiser offers a service where, among other things, you can bet online on sports matches”, and therefore “will not mislead the average consumer”.

The state lottery argued that it was only required to give odds on chances of winning a jackpot in adverts, not to display odds of a jackpot rolling over, and the odds were in fact displayed on its website.

The foundation found “no question of deception” as the ad did not explicitly state a jackpot would be won on that date.

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