NOGA, the Netherlands Online Gambling Association, has warned the Dutch government that “recognition of legal online gambling providers has hardly increased amongst the general public” since the launch of KOA marketplace in October 2021.
The concern is noted by data from the trade body’s annual ‘NOGA Online Gambling Barometer’, independently researched by IPSOS.
Since 2021, the Dutch online gambling market has experienced a period of sustained maturity as data reflects that “94% of respondents who have gambled since the opening of the legal online gambling market have done so with licensed providers”.
Further positives see NOGA’s barometer point towards a growing consumer awareness of the inherent risks of gambling, valuing operators with the highest perception of duty of care and customer protection.
On advertising, the barometer outlines the positive impact of self-regulation by licensed operators, which has been effective overall with Dutch audiences seeing fewer gambling ads.
Yet, despite legislative efforts, recognition of legal providers has not significantly increased amongst the general public as Dutch consumers still struggle to distinguish between licensed and unlicensed providers.
The trade body has issued its warning as Dutch operators will be forced to observe a ban on ‘untargeted advertising’ across all relevant media platforms from 1 July 2023.
The ban will be imposed on advertising on billboards, public spaces, radio, print and TV programming, and will further introduce a phasing out of sports sponsorships by gambling operators.
Peter-Paul de Goeij has warned the government that blanket advertising solutions will be counterproductive to consumer protections, stating: “Even with a lot of untargeted advertising for online gambling, more than two-thirds of gamblers still do not know how to distinguish a licensed provider from an unlicensed one.
“It should be as easy and clear as possible to recognize licensed safe providers. Especially when this recognition is going to decline again due to the upcoming advertising ban.
“This is really a critical task for all of us. Whether or not you have gambled before; it should be as easy and clear as possible to recognize licensed safe providers. Especially when this recognition is going to decline again due to the upcoming advertising ban.”
NOGA concluded that its members are willing to work with Dutch authorities to improve advertising conduct and together to make licensed gambling safer, more recognizable, and more appealing to deter gamblers from resorting to illegality.