No Country for Affiliates… Belgium warns of tougher digital advertising code

Belgium market online gambling affiliates have been warned that they may become the next targets of the governments new stricter advertising code on gambling services.

Last October, the Belgian Chamber of Representatives (De Kamer) approved a mandate for a new advertising standards code focusing primarily on gambling promotional standards.

The new code is set to introduce an outright ‘all-vertical ’ban on betting/gambling advertising during sports broadcasts, which would be supported by the introduction of an 8 pm Belgium watershed.

However, it has now been reported that a number of Belgian MPs want to implement a tougher stance on digital marketing verticals.

Revising its mandate, De Kamer may move to implement stringent all-out digital marketing restrictions, allowing licensed operators to only advertise through their proprietary websites and via email to registered customers.

Speaking at last week’s EIG 2017 Berlin industry conference, Belgian gaming attorney Tatiana Klaeser (Klaeser Avocat) detailed that the new digital advertising provisions had been drafted by Belgium’s National Lottery

At present, little is known of the proposed restrictions, however, it is believed that the Belgian government wants to restrict digital referral channels to betting operators be it affiliate or media owners.

Last June, Belgian media owners criticised the Belgium Gambling Commission (BGC) for not providing clarity on advertising standards, which have remained vague with regards to viewer provisions and digital marketing practices.