The Kansspel Commissie (KSC), the Gambling Commission of Belgium, has issued a final warning to licensed operators stating they must display ‘mandatory preventative messages’ across all existing communications.
The warning follows the Belgian government enforcing its Royal Decree from 1 July, which imposed a blanket ban on all forms of betting/gambling advertising across all media platforms.
Despite the advertising ban, the KSC stated that any communication or message visible to the customer must contain its mandatory preventative messages.
In July, alongside the enforcement of Belgium’s gambling advertising ban, the KSC changed its preventative message tagline from ‘please play in moderation’ to “gambling is addictive”.
Licensed operators have been reminded that all communications with customers must reference the Belgian gambling self-exclusion scheme, www.stopoptijd.be.
The new restrictions prohibit all forms of gambling advertisements, including commercials on TV, radio, cinema, digital channels, social media, magazines, newspapers, public posters, and personalized advertising through various means.
Belgian sports clubs and leagues have been temporarily excluded from the ban, which is expected to be fully enforced from July 2025 onwards.
Following a challenge by Belgian football clubs, authorities in Brussels granted sports clubs a two-year grace period to fulfill existing sponsorship duties.
In the Netherlands, untargeted gambling advertisements have been prohibited since July 1, 2023, with the deadline set for July 1, 2025. This provision applies to contracts concluded before July 1, 2023.
The bans in both countries aim to protect vulnerable groups, such as minors, young adults and individuals affected by gambling-related harm, from exposure to online gambling.
The Royal Decree in Belgium also raised the minimum age for gambling from 18 to 21 years. This aligns the age limit for sports betting and bingo with the existing age limit for casino visits.