Netherlands gambling ads won’t be restricted

netherlands iGaming ads

Gambling ads in the Netherlands won’t be banned once its online gambling market opens to international operators, according to regulators in the country.

Being restrictive would have negative implications

According to the Dutch Minister of Justice and Security, Sander Dekker, being too intrusive with how operators promote themselves would be counterproductive and “have an upward effect on addiction problems“.

Dekker also claimed that, on the basis of research, extensive gambling restrictions would have a negative impact on desires to direct local players to iGaming sites with a Dutch licence. So, having a more liberal policy would be more useful in implementing responsible gambling initiatives.

However, it was mentioned that reinforcements to existing ad regulations might be made. These include the limiting of bonus offers for free play credits, along with banning behavioural targeting. Measures related to limiting celebrity endorsements are also included, especially if those individuals have a strong youth appeal. Another aspect is the time windows in which marketing via certain media is and isn’t allowed.

Age verification becoming a necessity

Authorities in the Netherlands have mentioned that changes will be made to their licence prioritisation criteria. These will come into effect from 1st January 2020 onwards.

As part of this, operators applying to become regulated in the Netherlands must show that they have a functional age verification system in place. If this is the case, they’ll be prioritised for regulation ahead of non-compliers. Once the regulated market goes live, it’s also likely that they won’t need to apply for a remote licence.

Comparatively, brands that don’t adhere to these procedures will probably have their applications rejected. They’re also likely to face stern penalties, which could include hefty fines. Some operators have been penalised for perceived illegal activity in the past.