The Netherlands gambling regulator, Kannspelautoriteit (KSA), released a clarification about the upcoming ban on untargeted advertising for online games of chance starting from July 1, 2023.
Protect Vulnerable Groups The ban is expected to ensure better protection against the risk of developing gambling addiction for vulnerable groups of society such as young people and the KSA will uphold the new rules and ensure compliance for the licensed operators.
According to the rules, gambling advertising should not reach minors, young adults and other vulnerable groups and to achieve that, starting from July 1, advertising in public places, such as billboards, bus shelters, public buildings, and others will not be permitted.
Gambling advertising on the internet, on on-demand TV, in social media, or via direct mailing will be permitted under certain conditions for the license holders: they will have the obligation to make their best effort and prevent such advertising from reaching vulnerable groups.
Licensees should be able to demonstrate compliance with the rule stating that at least 95% of the advertisement target audience comprises adults 24 years or older, while recipients of the gambling advertising messages should have the option to choose whether to receive the advertising or not.
Operators Should Monitor Advertising Reach At all times, licensees should monitor the reach of their advertising messages and be able to provide a report to the KSA if requested. The regulator also outlined that the ban on the games of chance would not include advertising on the operator’s affiliate networks as this type of advertising is a form of targeted advertising to visitors to the website. Still, affiliates will not be allowed to target bonuses at vulnerable groups.
For licensees operating online and land-based, country-specific operations, advertising should be targeted only at the physical or country-specific games of chance and should not resemble in any way, shape, or form the advertising for online games of chance, or give the public the impression that it promotes online gambling.
As a form of untargeted advertising, sponsorships fall under the prohibition, allowing only a neutral display of the operator logo or name and prohibiting any association of the license holder’s name or logo with the image, voice, or name of a role model. Sponsorships should not be directed to vulnerable groups either.
The sponsorship rule implementation comes with transitional periods for existing contracts: sponsorships for TV programs and events will be allowed until July 1, 2024, to adjust to the new rule, while sponsors for athletes, clubs, and competitions – whether via shirts and other material – will have an additional year to comply.
The KSA concluded by stating that it will monitor closely the implementation of the new rules and if there is a need for further clarifications, will inform the license holders in due time.