Belgian Juliper Pro League football club KAA Gent has urged the Belgium Gambling Commission (BGC) to clarify its advertising conditions related to football marketing conducted on behalf of betting firms.
The BGC has launched an investigation of KAA Gent for distributing a promotional email by partner Napoleon Games, which featured a prize titled – ‘Experience a day with the Buffalos’ (KAA’s club nickname).
Prize terms saw KAA Gent promote to its fanbase the chance to spend a day training with club’s first-team players. In order to qualify for the competition, KAA Gent fans would have to wager just €1 on Napoleon Games verticals.
The BGC has flagged the promotion, stating that KAA Gent had breached conditions of Belgium’s recently installed Royal Decree (July 2019) which sanctioned strict betting advertising conditions on Belgium media operators.
CD&V Justice Minister Koen Geens, author of the Royal Decree, has since chastised KAA Gent marketing for ‘clear violations’ in the messaging of Napoleon Games promotion, stating that the football club had failed to meet its social responsibility concerns.
“Gamble in moderation! Must stand. “Offering bonuses involve various dangers for the gambler. For example, new players can be encouraged to start gambling or existing players to start gambling again,” Geens told Belgian media outlets.
He underlined that KAA Gent’s marketing breach would be utilised as an example of further advertising measures needed when the Belgian ministers review the Royal Decree.
Napoleon Games Chief Executive Tom De Clercq responded to Geens’ criticism, stating that the operators marketing department and KAA Gent had developed the prize campaign in-line with the Royal Decree’s advertising standards.
He maintains that all requirements had been met with regards to audience targeting and that football club had fulfilled its gambling responsibility checks.