Licensed Dutch online gambling operators are voluntarily implementing their own advertising code in a effort to stay ahead of more draconian measures from the state. Under the new guidelines, operators would ban bonus codes for players under the age of 25 and limit their daytime advertising.
Under the terms of the code, players between the ages of 18-24 would not be eligible to use, nor would they be served up, bonus codes of any kind. Operators will also refrain from advertising bonuses at any time. And, finally, player bonuses will be capped at €250 ($283 USD).
Operators will also be restricting their advertisements from programming that has more than a 25 percent youth audience. Under current Dutch law, operators cannot advertise between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Ostensibly, the Operator association Licensed Dutch Gaming Providers (VNLOK) is implementing the code in an effort to stem problem gambling and youth gambling. And while there’s likely a sincere desire to do exactly that, operators are also implementing their own standards before government regulators hit them with something much more severe.
Helma Lodders, chairman of VNLOK spoke of the challenges of putting together the code in an interview with iGB saying, “It was not easy to protect the interests of all involved parties, but we have managed to arrive at a robust advertising code for online games of chance that has additional protection for consumers and specifically vulnerable groups. This involves advice from addiction experts and consumer organisations.”
The Dutch online gambling is one of the most recent European markets to open and has been in operation since October.