Following a previous statement, “Advertising is fine, but do not go too far” by the Netherlands’ Minister for Legal Protection, Sander Dekker, the Opposition Socialist Party has demanded an explanation to this statement.
The party has asked Dekker to elaborate on how advertising was judged, and what would constitute going “too far.” In response to this question, Dekker explained that Article 4a of the Netherlands Gaming Act set out several guidelines for ads. This article, he explained, first required operators to ensure promotions were fair and balanced, by providing information about the specific characteristics of the products advertised, and flagging the risks caused by excessive gambling.
Additionally, the minister said ads should also avoid producing idealistic anticipations, by suggesting that a player has already won, or has a better chance of winning. Content that downplays the risks of excessive play was also illegal, and license holders were banned from directing advertising at vulnerable people.
Dekker assured that as soon as the market opened, the state’s gambling regulator the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) would pay precise consideration to advertising that could appeal to minors; ads for illegal operators; and deceptive ads.
Regarding the question about enforcement action taken by the KSA to stamp out advertising by unlicensed operators, Dekker said that the regulator currently monitored the market through in-house research, supported by information from the public and licensed operators, as well as looking at commercial data and other public information.
Furthermore, the minister said that illegal advertising accounted for 0.74% of all advertising in the Netherlands in 2019, up from 0.2% in 2017. These statistics clearly showed that unlicensed operators were wary of advertising, and tended to avoid advertising via the 300 most popular websites in the state. Nonetheless, Dekker warned that once the Remote Gaming Act comes into force from 21 January 2021, it will be able to issue orders to stop this.