The Netherlands Online Gambling Association (NOGA) is objecting to a proposed advertising code that it claims would be tougher on online operators than on lotteries and land-based casinos.
A newly-formed group, the Licensed Dutch Online Gaming Providers (VNLOK), combined with an existing land-based group, VAN Kansspelen, to draft an advertising code to meet concerns such as a requirement that advertising be “moderate” for the launch of the online gambling market on October 1.
NOGA agrees that a code on advertising limits is a positive development, but said it would be unfair to place a limit of three ads for online gambling per block while placing no restrictions on land-based companies, said group managing director Peter-Paul de Goeij.
“The viewer does not make the distinction between offline and online at all, the consumer just sees an irritating gambling ad,” he said. “In addition, gambling advertisements of today’s gambling providers are already ubiquitous — on television, radio, internet, bus shelters and in our letterboxes.”
“Let’s face it, consumers find too many gambling adverts just irritating,” he said.
NOGA, although it represents many online gambling providers, has not been included in drafting the code, he said.
“This exclusion is very unwise,” de Goeij said. “After all, self-regulation benefits from the broadest possible adoption.”
VNLOK did not return emailed requests for comment. Its members are government-owned Holland Casino, part government-owned Nederlandse Loterij, FPO Nederland, JOI Gaming and ZEbetting & Gaming.
NOGA includes bet365, Begame Group, Betsson, Betway, Entain, Flutter Entertainment, Kindred Group, LeoVegas and Tombola.
With barely more than two weeks until the Dutch market opens, the Netherlands Gambling Authority (KSA) has yet to announce which companies have successfully obtained licences.
The country’s “cooling off” rules are expected to keep a large cohort of well-known international operators out of the market in the short term, due to their past unlicensed gambling business in the Netherlands.
The KSA has expressed hope that the opening of the market will not lead to a marketing “bombardment”, but said it recognises the need to direct consumers to licensed operators.