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Netherlands Set for July 1 Gambling Ad Ban

Beginning July 1, gambling operators in Holland will be barred from nearly every type of advertising. The gambling ad ban has the support of Dutch Minister for Legal Protection Franc Weerwind is meant to protect people under the age of 24 from problem gambling, while still maintaining a regulated gaming environment that doesn’t send players running to the black market.

Under the terms of the ban, Dutch gaming operators will be barred from all advertising that isn’t directly targeted at specific consumers over the age of 24. That means that billboards, television and radio advertising are pretty much off-limits when it comes to advertising.

So what kind of advertising is allowed? It’s pretty much only internet ads and subscription TV services, and even those come with quite a few conditions. First off, operators must allow end-users to opt out of receiving ads from them entirely. Once those potential players are eliminated, gaming companies can only target their ads at potential players over the age of 24. Advertising must not be aimed at problem gamblers and advertisers must be able to prove that at least 95 percent of the audience for the site or program must be over the age of 24.

In a statement reported on by the NL Times, Legal Protection Minister Franc Weerwind talked about balancing consumer protections with efforts to prevent black market gambling saying, “At the same time, as a government, we also have a duty to protect vulnerable groups against the risks of online games of chance. With this ban, vulnerable groups, especially young people, will come into contact with these advertisements less frequently, and we will limit the temptation to start playing high-risk games of chance.”