The Netherlands continues to put an emphasis on consumer protection in its soon-to-launch gambling industry with the media watchdog, the Commissariaat voor de Media (CdvM) and Kansspelautoriteit, the country’s gambling regulator, agreeing to exchange complaints and signals regarding potentially harmful advertisements pertaining to the gambling sector.
The Netherlands Readies to React Quickly to Gambling Ads
The regulators expect their collaboration to lead to better overall consumer protection and ensure that media standards are kept up to snuff as per the country’s gambling regulation. With only a few weeks before the industry goes online in October, the Netherlands will experience an influx of betting and gambling companies’ advertisements that have already secured positions in the market.
The debate to re-regulate gambling has been on since at least 2018, with the country going after what it considered “rogue operators” at the time. The past years have allowed legislators to establish clear-cut rules for everyone to follow, including with regards to media presence.
The media watchdog will enforce the Media Act, which will come into effect on November 1 and will mandate how games of chance can be presented in public broadcasts and during what specific hours. Television and radio ads featuring gambling or promoting those brands that are official operators in the country may not be aired between the hours of 6 am and 9 pm.
Through this collaboration, the pair expects to have a swift response to any possible violation of the media rules. Both the Kansspelautoriteit and the CdvM have issued strict guidelines as to what advertisement is considered acceptable.
Operators Say Too Little Is Done to Regulate Gambling
Essentially, the regulators want to ensure that underage individuals are safe and that advertisement does not target them, whether that is done purposefully or unwittingly. There have already been calls for greater restrictions on gambling advertisement, with operators pitching in and agreeing that the limit of three gambling ads per commercial block is too much.
Operators, including Bet365, Flutter, Entain, and Kindred, have previously objected to the newly-proposed media guidelines, arguing that those advertisement standards weren’t up to par with what should have been introduced instead.
The brands commented that they should have been invited to the discussions as they could have offered valuable insight. All operators, which are part of the Netherlands Online Gambling Association trade body, agreed that the code does not go nearly enough.
All brands have an understandable business interest in maintaining a clean and fair gambling advertisement environment, as a lack of proper regulation could result in stricter measures as the ones currently enacted in Sweden, Spain, and Italy.