Derk Boswijk, a member of the Christian Democratic Appeal party (CDA), has submitted a motion calling for the complete ban on gambling advertisements in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands implemented an advertising ban for most gambling products in July. This change banned advertising in most channels of media. The rules prohibited advertising on television, radio, and in print.
The laws allow targeted advertising to be done in certain contexts. Ads in social media, online games, direct mail, and on-demand streaming were all still allowed.
Casino Nieuws reported that Boswijk’s goal with this motion is to protect vulnerable youth and groups. He feels that they still come into contact with advertisements targeted at them. Diederik Van Dijk, Michiel van Nispen, Michiel van Vroonhoven and Mirjam bikker, all Dutch politicians, signed Boswijk’s motion.
The motion will be put to a vote on Tuesday in the House of Representatives. The vote will determine if a complete ban is supported.
Motion on deposit limits
Casino Nieuws reported that Bikker had also submitted a motion for the introduction of a gaming cap overarching all Dutch providers. Bikker criticised Franc Werwind, Netherlands Minister for Legal Protection, for not protecting vulnerable players.
In the motion, it is requested that government set a limit on deposits and losses in online casinos. Gamblers are not allowed to raise these limits on their own. Bikker’s motion, which was submitted by nine politicians from different political parties, included Boswijk.
Dilan Yesilgoz (Minister of Justice and Security in the Netherlands) assured Weerwind that it was taking measures to implement a general playing limit.
Netherlands increasing commitment to player safety
Bikker & Van Nispen presented the original motion in 2021 that resulted in the current prohibition on non-targeted advertisements. This law change and the new motion to take it even further is another indication of how the Netherlands Government plans to crack down on gambling advertisements.
The Dutch regulator Kansspelautoriteit, or KSA for short, has made it very clear that 95% of the people who view targeted advertisements must be older than 24. KSA issued only “limited” guidelines for the ban in hopes that operators would lead this issue.
Weerwind, the Dutch gambling regulator introduced new measures in December to protect players against problem gambling. He cited “concerning and unwelcome developments” within the gambling industry.
Among the measures, providers were required to reach out to players who had set a limit on their deposits of EUR350. Weerwind also proposed displaying financial amounts in euro and urging further research into gaming limits.
Weerwind launched a digital resilience programme in October to fight fraud related to online gambling.
The industry hits back
In response to the growing regulatory pressure, operators have defended themselves and warned that Weerwind’s plans may lead gambling to be seen in a negative light.
Peter-Paul de Goeij (Chairman of the Dutch Online Gambling Association, NOGA) warned Weerwind about his plans to make gambling “unattractive”.
De Goeij said, “It’s good that the Minister clarifies the rules of safe gambling. This makes the duty to care more tangible.”
We must be very careful not to make legal gambling too inattractive. The proposal will be carefully studied and we’ll make improvements to it.
Helma Lodders of the Licensed Dutch Online Gaming Providers VNLOK highlighted that two parts of Weerwind’s letter needed to be further examined.
Lodders explained that “firstly, the imposed measures actually work to keep as few problem players as possible.”
The legal offers must remain attractive to the majority of participants who act responsibly. This is crucial to stop them returning to illegal supplies.