Netherlands Delaying Ad Restrictions, Addressing Deposit Limits

October 11, 2022
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Dutch gambling minister Franc Weerwind has announced a several-month delay to proposed advertising restrictions, as a raft of gambling policy queries were discussed during a Standing Committee on Justice and Security debate.

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Dutch gambling minister Franc Weerwind has announced a several-month delay to proposed advertising restrictions, as a raft of gambling policy queries were discussed during a Standing Committee on Justice and Security debate.

A ban on non-targeted online ads was originally to be introduced on January 1, 2023, to protect vulnerable groups, the government said.

The proposals now face an unspecified postponement as they wait for approval from various stages of the Dutch parliament.

Justin Franssen, the managing partner at law firm Kalff Katz & Franssen, explained to VIXIO GamblingCompliance that parliament will be required to look at the draft proposals and, “more importantly”, the Council of State must also look at the decree.

“That process involving the Council of State usually takes at least three months,” Franssen said.

Additionally, a consultation on the plans received many responses, further slowing down the process.

During the debates, held last week, Weerwind argued against a motion recently passed in the House of Representatives to remove an exemption allowing for football shirt sponsorships and other on-field advertising to continue for two years after the changes are implemented, saying that existing agreements must be honoured.

A motion to remove the exemption was passed after it was approved by 108 out of the 150 members of the House of Representatives earlier this year.

Another key part of the debate was the potential introduction of a single customer view and deposit limits, according to Franssen.

The minister does not appear to be contemplating introducing a single customer view, pointing to potential issues, including privacy law issues. However, the government will investigate players being able to set their own deposit limits, according to Franssen.

Following the debate, a representative from the Netherlands Gambling Authority (KSA) told VIXIO that non-targeted advertising for online companies is still on course to be banned despite the initial implementation date no longer seeming achievable.

The committee meeting came just days after the licensed online sector celebrated its one-year anniversary since it was opened on October 1, 2021.

KSA chairman Rene Jansen wrote in a blog on the anniversary that the latest debate showed “there are different angles to look at the developments and that there are varying wishes for adjustments or measures after 1 year of the online market”.

“It is important to make the right adjustments on the basis of the observed facts, whereby the right balance must always be sought. Too strict regulation of legal providers can cause illegal providers to be sought out too often. The right choices must be made, partly with the help of our reports. This also applies to the Gaming Authority itself,” Jansen concluded.

Recent developments follow months of changes to the country’s ad rules.

On June 30, 2022, the Dutch government banned ads using role models for casino games and is reviewing a possible ban on print, TV and radio ads for higher-risk games.

A separate new voluntary code for the gambling industry, which seeks to reduce the volume of ads, also came into effect on February 1, 2022.

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