The Netherlands government implemented a ban on most forms of gambling advertising back in July. The change prohibited advertising through most media channels. This included television, radio and print, while the rules also banned advertising in public places.
However, the laws still allowed targeted advertising in some contexts. This meant ads within on-demand streaming services, social media, through direct mail and online gaming environments were still permitted.
Boswijk’s aim with the motion, as reported by Casino Nieuws, is to protect young people and vulnerable groups. He still feels they are coming into contact with targeted advertisements. Boswijk’s motion was also signed by fellow Dutch politicians Diederik van Dijk, Nicolien van Vroonhoven, Michiel van Nispen and Mirjam Bikker.
There will be a vote in the house of representatives on the motion on Tuesday. This will gauge whether a total ban will receive the required support.
Motion on deposit limits
Bikker also brought in a motion to introduce an overarching gaming limit for Dutch providers, reported by Casino Nieuws. Bikker criticised Franc Weerwind, the Netherlands minister for legal protection, for his lack of protection for vulnerable players.
The motion is calling on the government to apply an overall limit for deposits and losses on online casino, with gamblers unable to increase them on their own. Bikker’s motion was co-submitted by nine other politicians, including Boswijk, from a variety of political parties.
As revealed by Casino Nieuws, Dilan Yesilgöz, the Netherlands’ minister of justice and security, assured Weerwind was taking steps to introduce overarching playing limits.
Netherlands’ growing commitment to player protection
In 2021, Bikker and Van Nispen tabled the motion that led to the current ban on untargeted advertising. That law change, and this fresh motion to go even further, is another indicator of the Netherlands government’s plans to clamp down on gambling advertising.
Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Dutch regulator, made it clear that the goal will be for 95% of those viewing targeted ads to be over the age of 24. The KSA only issued “limited” guidance for the ban, hoping operators would take the lead on this issue.
In December, Weerwind introduced a number of new measures that he hoped would protect players from problem gambling after what he called “worrying and undesirable developments” in the Netherlands’ gambling industry.
The measures included providers being required to contact players who have set a deposit limit of €350 (£303/$386). Weerwind’s other proposals involved exhibiting financial amounts in euros and pushing for further research on overarching gaming limits.
In October, Weerwind announced a multi-year digital resilience campaign programme to combat fraud associated with online gambling.
Industry hitting back
The growing pressure on operators in terms of regulation has led the industry to defend itself, while also warning how Weerwind’s plans could lead to gambling being seen in a bad light.
Peter-Paul de Goeij, chairman of the Dutch Online Gambling Association (NOGA), advised Weerwind that his measures could lead to gambling being seen as “unattractive”.
“It is good that the minister clarifies the rules for safe gambling and thus makes the duty of care more concrete,” De Goeij stated.
“At the same time, we must always be careful that legal gambling is not made too unattractive. We will study the proposal carefully and make suggestions to improve it and thus achieve the desired effects.”
Meanwhile, Helma Lodders, chairman of the Licensed Dutch Online Gaming Providers (VNLOK), highlighted two areas of Weerwind’s letter that needed further examination.
“Firstly, that imposed measures are actually effective in keeping the number of problem players as small as possible,” Lodders explained.
“Secondly, that the legal offer remains sufficiently attractive for the vast majority of players who participate in a responsible manner. The latter is important to prevent them from returning to the illegal supply.”