The regulatory entity in charge of overseeing gambling operations in the Netherlands, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), issued a warning to a casino operator regarding an untargeted ad. The promotion in question aired while a TV game show was underway, and it was scrutinized for the combination of a game element tied to a slot machine with the licensee’s brand name. This, as stated by the gambling watchdog, was in breach of the Dutch advertisement rules that concern gambling, as it was not a “neutral” representation of the provider’s logo.
As opposed to ordering the removal of the ad, however, the KSA instead made the decision to negotiate with the gambling operator and the TV program. This resulted in the promotion being altered so that it would no longer be in breach of KSA regulations.
In an announcement in which the KSA addressed the matter, the regulator reiterated that untargeted gambling adverts have been prohibited in the Netherlands since July 1st, 2023. The new rules encompass advertising aired on television and radio, as well as gambling ads in magazines and newspapers. Moreover, the laws also dictate that billboard ads and promotions at public buildings and spaces like bus stops, arcades, cinemas, and elsewhere are also in breach of the laws. These rules were put in place with the aim of protecting minors and other individuals who could be susceptible to the harm problem gambling can pose.
In spite of this new legislation, licensed operators that have ongoing sponsorship deals can continue to promote their businesses on television until July 1st, 2024. However, the ads need to be in line with gambling advertising rules. We should also note that this concerns casino gambling ads, as sports operators have an extra year to continue showing ads as per their sponsorship deals. Further extensions are not possible, however.
The Situation Marks the Latest Case of an Operator Struggling to Adhere to the new Rules
Although it has been some time since the law has been in effect, a number of KSA-licensed gambling companies have gotten in trouble with the regulator. Apart from the entity described above, the Netherlands’ gambling watchdog targeted three other operators last October. Two of the cases concerned the KSA’s neutrality rules, as both operators were found to be in breach of the said regulatory conditions.
When it comes to the first company, its slogan appeared while a sponsorship program was underway. As for the other licensee, the KSA’s reasoning for issuing a warning was a promotion tied to the operator’s application and the way spectators at a sporting event were prompted to use the app.
A merchandising issue is the third problem that the KSA had to address in October. Namely, a license holder had made an advert involving T-shirts as a possible prize, with each piece of merchandise featuring the operator’s logo and name. The Dutch regulatory body deemed this to be a non-targeted promotion, and since it was displayed in a public space, the gambling operators were in violation of gambling rules. Once they were made aware of their respective transgressions, all three operators ceased showing the problematic adverts.