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Dekker: More research is needed before introducing sweeping ad ban

| By Nosa Omoigui
Outgoing Dutch minister for legal protection, Sander Dekker, has outlined plans to look into the effects of a ban on non-targeted advertising in the country in response to a bill calling for such a ban.
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MP Michael Van Nipsen first introduced a motion calling on the government to implement new advertising restrictions back in December. These restrictions would have included a ban on all untargeted ads.

Within a letter responding to the motion, Dekker said authorities must fully consider the ramifications of implementing policies for a tightly regulated advertising market in the country, rather than introducing rules blindly.

Dekker said: “A number of policy choices have to be made about, among other things, the delineation of ‘untargeted advertising’ and also for which media outlets the restrictions would affect. 

“It must also be clear what the expected effects are in realising this objective, on the goals of the games of chance policy and contributions to charities and sports. It is also important to have a good overview of the effects on sponsorship and on land-based games of chance. 

“Finally, it must be clear how any tightening respects European law, in particular the free movement of services and freedom of expression.”

As a result, he said that the new government, which will take over today, and regulator de Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), should conduct “a thorough analysis of the possibilities and their effects”.

Dekker also reminded operators that they are obliged to conform to strict rules with regards to advertising, so as to keep socially vulnerable groups such as minors and young adults as protected as possible.

Dekker added that the KSA should be responsible for implementing and maintaining a designated time slot for advertising. The current media act includes two windows which prohibit gambling advertising; between 6am and 9pm on radio and TV, and between 6am and 7pm on TV for low risk games.

Furthermore, from 1 February 2021 all TV channels in the Netherlands will limit gambling ads to thirty seconds.

Dekker is due to step down from his position today (10 January 2022), with Franc Weerwind set to take over in the role.

The online gaming market in the Netherlands first launched in October 2021.

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