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Fiona Simmons April 24, 2023 2 min read
Estonia Mulls Ban on Gambling Ads as New Government Steps In
Europe is tightening the rules on gambling advertisement, with big changes looming in the United Kingdom, and now Estonia picking up the baton
The Baltic nation may become the latest to impose a ban on gambling advertisements as the country is committed to protecting consumers by imposing the necessary changes it believes would help minimize gambling-related harm.
The Newly-Formed Government Has a Clear Stance on Gambling
The Reform Party, the Social Democrats and the Eesti 200 Party are taking a page out of Italy’s playbook as the country similarly sought and successfully imposed a ban on gambling advertisements.
Although no official confirmation has come from the government as of early Monday, Estonian news sources have suggested that various members across the coalition government, including high-ranking officials, are all in favor of rolling out a blanket ban on gambling advertisements.
In fact, the proposed Minister of the Interior, Lauri Läänemets, is himself a staunch supporter of a blanket ban measure which he sees as an important step forward for the country in addressing and limiting the ramifications of unchecked gambling. Läänemets echoes politicians from across Europe, arguing that gambling ends up breaking up families and incurs serious societal costs.
The minister, though, is aware that acting too hastily could lead to some complications in the current business relationships between sports stakeholders and companies. This is why an outright ban would still have to be carefully thought through.
Estonian Gaming Operator Association head Tõnis Rüütel has urged the government not to overreach and to work together with businesses to plan and execute measures that would have a positive impact on consumers. Rüütel has confirmed that stakeholders were already planning to meet with government officials and further the discussions.
Europe Increases Measures to Protect Consumers
Estonia is hardly the only country that has been all gung-ho on gambling advertisements of late. The White Paper in the United Kingdom is now rumored to propose similar changes to its gambling advertisement rules along with tighter control on online stakes, which may be limited to just a few dollars for those under the age of 25.
The Netherlands has also been passing stricter rules on gambling advertisements, restricting popular personalities who hold appeal with certain age groups from appearing on inducement materials by betting and gaming companies. Europe as a whole is tightening its gambling regulations and ramping up the measures.
Opponents caution that overplaying the regulatory hand can lead to decreased licensed market channelization and push many people back to black market operations instead.