Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Netherlands gambling authority, has welcomed the way in which licensed operators have ‘well observed’ its ban on celebrity endorsements of gambling products.
A veto on the use of celebrity endorsements and sports role models was adopted as an advertising rule of the KOA Regime on 30 June 2022.
The rule prohibits licensed operators from featuring celebrities, sports athletes (active and retired) and social media influencers in their marketing campaigns across any media platform.
Having undertaken an investigation of licensees’ marketing activities, KSA stated that it had only issued warnings to two operators that had breached its endorsement rules.
The infringements related to operators using celebrity voice overs on their advertising campaigns – in which one was used for a TV commercial and the other promoted a podcast.
“After the warning, they stopped voting. If the providers had not done so, they would have received a cease and desist order (corrective sanction),” the KSA statement detailed.
“We will also keep a close eye on whether games of chance providers continue to comply with the ban. Only the charity lotteries, the state lottery and the lotto are exempt from the ban.”
The ban on celebrity endorsements formed part of the Dutch government’s year-1 review of the rules and standards of the KOA Regime 1 October 2021.
Dutch operators, meanwhile, await the ‘Addiction Prevention Decree’ recommendations due to be published this autumn by new Legal Protections Minister Franc Weerwind.
Though positive on the Dutch market’s initial safeguards, Weerwind has previously expressed concerns on the increased participation of young adults (18-to-24) in online gambling following KOA’s launch.
Licensed operators have been warned that upcoming regulatory reforms will focus on improving advertising standards and implementing new measures/duties to minimise gambling addiction.