The Dutch Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the country’s gambling regulator, has conducted successful interventions against three unnamed operators for violating the untargeted advertising ban.
In effect since 1 July 2023, the advertising law prevents operators from pursuing a range of marketing techniques deemed to be ‘untargeted’ – meaning that such methods cannot be directed towards people aged 25 and over.
Operators are prohibited from advertising on TV, radio and in newspapers and magazines and also in public spaces, such as billboards and bus shelters. Buildings accessible to the public, such as gaming casinos, slot machine arcades, cinemas and cafes, are also included.
However, marketing in ‘the online gaming environment’ can continue, as well as general online, direct mailing, on-demand TV and social media advertising, albeit under ‘strict conditions’.
The KSA’s latest interventions saw the operators in question violate the ban in different ways. One operator violated the public spaces advertising stipulation by offering a competition to win a t-shirt with its name and logo.
This is banned due to the merchandise being visible in public spaces when worn. Additionally, the marketing of two operators was deemed by the KSA to be ‘going further than just a neutral statement in sponsor communications’.
“Although sports sponsorship and sponsorship of television and radio programs are still permitted, there are strict rules attached to this,” the regulator explained in a statement.
“For example, the sponsor statement may not be more than a neutral statement by which the provider can be recognised, for example the logo or brand name of a provider.”
Lastly, one operator used a slogan which could be heard during programme sponsorship, and another firm placed an advertisement during a sports match which encouraged the use of its app.
The KSA noted, however, that upon intervention all three operators ceased marketing activity that violated the ban. In these cases enforcement was not followed, unlike other cases this year which have seen fines issued to several operators.
Other developments in the Dutch market of late have seen an amendment to gambling taxation laws proposed by two MPs in the House of Representatives which would see the gaming tax rate for online firms rise by 1%.
The legislators stated that this was due to the increase in popularity of online gaming since the market was launched on 1 October 2021. After two years, the market appears to be maturing according to the KSA’s latest figures.