Dutch Legal Minister greenlights July ban on untargeted gambling adverts

Dutch Minister of Legal Protections, Franc Weerwind, has confirmed that the long-delayed ban on ‘indiscriminate adverts’ promoting gambling will take effect no later than July 1, 2023. 

Weerwind, who oversees Dutch gambling regulatory developments, made this statement in response to ministerial questions submitted to Kramer.

The ban on untargeted advertising for high-risk games of chance was initially set to be adopted on January 1, 2023. 

However, after a consultation round and the Council of State’s recommendation for more clarification on specific points and technicalities, the deadline was extended to July 1, 2023.

Addressing ministers, Weerwind outlined that July 1 was a definitive start date for the new measures, as media and marketing stakeholders had been granted “sufficient time to comply with the new rules”.

The ban on non-targeted advertising has been enforced as part of a larger effort to curb the impact of gambling advertisements on young people, addressing concerns raised by addiction experts. 

Reporting to the Dutch Ministry of Justice, Weerwind maintains the headline objective “to reduce the exposure of minors to gambling, both through advertising and inadequate age controls on gambling sites.”

Despite new measures being approved, Weerwind highlighted that he opposed the recommendation of implementing a 2-strike policy on advertising infringements, in which the Netherlands Gambling Authority (KSA) would continue to be based “on the principles of proportionality and sustainability”.

Weerwind emphasized that the regulator has adequate measures in place to guide “parties back on track”, including enforcement orders and fines. The minister also highlighted the option of a binding directive, which allows KSA to stop other parties, such as payment service providers.