Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Dutch gaming regulator, issued strong warnings to numerous gambling firms in August for breaking the country’s new limitations on untargeted gambling ads.
In response to complaints that several online gambling operators were putting ads on public billboards and bus shelters in contravention of the new restrictions, the KSA originally chose to issue warnings rather than fines.
The KSA first notified these operators of the amended advertising restrictions, encouraging them to comply with the law or face penalties. Following their timely and cooperative answers to the KSA’s warnings, the regulator decided not to pursue penalties, thereby resolving the situation without the need for sanctions.
The KSA maintains attentive in providing a gaming environment that protects vulnerable persons and follows the new laws restricting untargeted gambling marketing in the Netherlands as Dutch authorities continue to enforce these advertising limits.
Untargeted gambling ads are prohibited in public spaces or facilities open to the public in the Netherlands, including billboards, bus shelters, theatres, arcades, and casinos. The new laws completely ban television and radio advertising.
However, the rules do allow gambling operators to advertise under rigorous conditions via various platforms, such as the Internet, direct mail, and social media. These advertisements must adhere to strict age-related targeting requirements, aiming to reach an audience where at least 95% of viewers are over the age of 24. Sponsorships are also affected, with transitional periods for existing contracts.
Before the ban’s implementation, the KSA had adopted a somewhat hands-off approach, preferring to provide limited guidance and encouraging operators to take the lead in complying with the new rules. In anticipation of the ban, the Dutch gambling industry had also created a new set of self-regulation guidelines, known as the advertising code for online games of chance, to align their practices with the impending regulations.
Rene Jansen, Chairman of the Netherlands Gambling Authority (KSA), discussed upcoming changes in gambling regulation at a gaming conference in June. He emphasized the importance of data vault systems (CDBs) for Anti-Money Laundering compliance and highlighted that the new advertising regulations allow land-based operators to continue advertising their land-based offerings but, if they are also operational online, their ads must be notably different from online ads.
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