Dutch Licensed Operators Vote for a Tougher Advertising Code of Conduct

Dutch gambling companies are looking to get ahead of regulation and offer actionable solutions that will allow them to protect vulnerable consumers and preemptively avoid damaging regulations on their business by taking the initiative and following in the steps of Europe’s most protected jurisdictions. The idea put forward by the association of Licensed Dutch Gaming Providers (VNLOK) is to adopt a new voluntary code of conduct concerning advertising in the country and general rules about bonusing.

Regulating the Gambling Industry to Protect Consumers

Essentially, operators want to address how bonuses are offered and advertised and how well consumers are protected. VNLOK members are keen to get ahead of regulation and create a framework that is in line with well-protected markets, such as Sweden and Denmark, that allows all members to explore a business model built to last.

VNLOK members, to name Holland Casino, Nederlandse Loterij, ZEbet, FPO Nederland, and JOI Gaming are confident that this is the right way forward. The measures they have agreed upon concern online gambling advertisement, as well as TV and radio adverts.

As per existing country laws, gambling adverts may not be displayed on TV between the hours of 6 am and 9 pm local time. This will now extend to an online advertisement as well, which could take some getting used to, but is completely within the mandate of online operators to enact with strictness.

The code will also suspend all advertisements from channels that have 25% of their audiences as minors, ensuring that additional fail-safes are in place. As another step towards protecting consumers, anyone under the age of 24 will not be able to use bonuses. The code also outlines that the maximum allowed bonus amount will be capped at €250 ($280) and that TV and radio stations would not be allowed to promote them.

Bonuses, Limits and Ads to Follow European Rules

According to Helma Lodders, creating a code that would seek to ensure that all parties are represented fairly was not easy, but the present iteration of the code is an opportunity to protect vulnerable gamblers as well as to ensure that impressionable groups are avoided, that is to say, minors and youngsters.

Meanwhile, digital operators such as Entain, Kindred Group, Flutter Entertainment, and Bet365 rallied themselves in the Netherlands Online Gambling Association (NOGA) calling for stricter control on gambling advertisement in the Dutch market.

All of these self-starter moves are mostly associated with the nature of gambling and how it is changing in Europe. Markets are becoming more heavily regulated, and the trend is to lower everything, from the available betting limits to the size of the bonuses, to how an advertisement is displayed.

Meanwhile, Sportradar and the Dutch Football Association teamed up to clamp down on fraud and match-fixing in the sport. The country also takes the regulation of betting and gambling advertisements seriously, with changes introduced back in September to optimize the process.  

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