Home » NOGA: Netherlands gambling ad ban motion ‘irresponsible’

NOGA: Netherlands gambling ad ban motion ‘irresponsible’

The Netherlands Online Gambling Association has branded the decision by a majority of politicians to support a ban on online gambling advertising and some online casino products “thoughtless and irresponsible.”

As reported by CasinoNieuws on Tuesday, the two motions were brought by Socialist Party MP Michiel van Nispen and passed with slim majorities.

The Netherlands’ Minister for Legal Protection, Franc Weerwind, now has the task of reviewing and either approving or rejecting the motions.

NOGA director Peter-Paul de Goeij said the House is “trying to force a decision based on wrong figures, assumptions and unrealistic fears.”

He added: “A majority in the House of Representatives is taking an expensive gamble with online players who are now consciously opting for the legal offer.

“If we soon find that politicians have made the wrong decisions too hastily, the House will be responsible for the negative consequences.”

The make-up of the Dutch market has been firmly in the spotlight in the past year as the market, which reregulated in October 2021, has continued to gain prominence among operators and on the European stage.

A ban on untargeted advertising came into force last July which prohibited marketing on mediums such as radio and television. Online advertising is permitted but under strict conditions.

A motion by MP Derk Boswijk in February this year attempted to advocate for a total ban on gambling advertising but did not receive enough votes – unlike the current attempt, which passed by 77 votes.

The Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security is due to evaluate the Netherlands’ revised online gambling law at the end of the year, but the fresh motions by Van Nispen are designed to rush through potentially sweeping changes before then.

Van Nispen told his party’s website that a ban on online gambling advertisements is “another step forward towards a country without bad gambling companies.”

However, the NOGA reiterated the Dutch regulator’s recent findings that its target of 80 per cent of players playing via the legal market is still being met.

“The purpose of the legalisation of online gambling was and is precisely for players to try their luck in a safe and responsible online environment. At licensed companies where the protection of all players has the highest priority,” the association said.

“Now 90 per cent of all players in our country play with legal gambling providers. There are already signs that gamblers are disappearing into the illegal circuit due to the previously imposed advertising ban on radio, TV, newspapers and in the open air.”

Van Nispen’s second headline motion involved a ban on “high risk” online casino games, including slots.

The NOGA said: “Minister Weerwind has kept a cool head so far. We count on the outgoing cabinet and the cabinet to be formed to continue that sensible line and never jeopardise the protection of online players.”