Life just got a whole lot harder for Dutch-facing gambling operators who use advertising as part their customer acquisition strategies. That’s because earlier this week, the Dutch Ministry of Legal Protection announced a near total ban on “untargeted” gambling advertisements, celebrity endorsements, and kit promotions.
Though the implementation of these new advertising rules will be staggered, the impact on the Dutch gambling industry will be profound.
Under the new rules of advertising engagement, which go into effect in 2023, operators will be barred from advertising to anyone who hasn’t shown an active interest in gambling. That means that advertising will be limited, for the most part, to potential players who have engaged in gambling-related searches – which narrows the pool considerably.
But that’s just the beginning of a new era of regulation for Dutch operators.
Beginning in 2024, gambling operators will be prevented from sponsoring events and programs of any kind. Then, in 2025, operators will be barred from logo sponsorships with local sports teams.
Lawmakers opted for a phased-in approach to the near-total advertising ban in an effort to give operators time to adjust their marketing plans. “The phasing will give the sports sector the opportunity to find alternative sponsors,” the ministry said. “The Kansspelautoriteit will soon monitor compliance with the new rules and will be able to intervene immediately in case of violation. This can be done, for example, in the form of a warning. If a provider does not respond, a fine may also follow,” a ministry spokesperson said in a statement quoted by iGamingBusiness.com.
With this action, the Netherlands joins a host of other European governments who are clamping down on, and heavily regulating operator marketing and advertising practices.
Online gambling was legalized in the Netherlands back in October, 2021.