Dutch Advertising Ban: Advertisers Must Show their Online Ads cannot be Accessed by Vulnerable Groups

The Dutch online market opened last year and since then, restrictions on advertising has been under way.

The Dutch government has set up public consultation on the proposed ban on gambling ads in the country, which is set to close in September.

The planned ban would amend several aspects of the Recruitment, Advertising and Addiction Prevention Decree. In a document backed by the Ministry of Legal Protection, license holders will not be allowed to broadcast untargeted advertisements in most of its forms.

This provision, will cover a large majority of advertising methods as this will mean that, advertisements will be banned across radio and television and at public spaces, including cinemas, sports competitions and events. Untargeted advertising will also be prohibited on the internet.

Operators under the new Decree once implemented, will only be able to advertise online, if their ads show that vulnerable groups, especially those with a gambling addiction and people under the age of 24 cannot access it.

The Decree while acknowledging the extra effort that will be required to ensure compliance to the new targeted ad rule, emphasized that it is not impossible, as operators can use their system and algorithms to ensure that their advertising is targeted from vulnerable people.

The rationale behind this rule, according to the Decree, is that the under 24s may find it difficult to assess the level of risk, associated with gambling and may be enticed by the positive attitude to gambling that advertising can convey.

The responsible gambling groups in the Netherlands, highlighted the issues with advertising, especially when it is aimed at young people, which was said to be one of the factors considered for the proposed rules in the document by the government.

The Remote Gambling Act (KOA) – which was implemented on 1 April 2021, before the online gambling market was opened by the Dutch government, is reported to have emphasized largely on consumer protection, as one of its main policy goals.

Under the new Decree, licence holders will also be prohibited from entering into sponsorships, with sports teams. This prohibition is set to come into force from the 1st of January, 2023.

The broadcast advertisements ban is expected to take effect from 1 January.

The document is published on the Netherlands’s government policy website, www.Overheid.nl


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