Netherlands bans celebrities from gambling adverts
As of today, celebrities are no longer allowed to appear in gambling advertisements in the Netherlands. Minister Franc Weerwind for Legal Protection amended the Regulation on advertising to ban "all persons who enjoy some form of public fame or with whom people want to identify or associate themselves" from gambling ads in an attempt to protect vulnerable groups from addiction.
That includes former and current professional footballers, influencers, models, singers, and well-known poker players. This is another measure against the flood of gambling ads that hit the Netherlands since online gambling became legal in October last year. Legal gambling sites say they have to lure people away from illegal sites, but experts worry that the constant barrage will increase gambling problems and addiction.
"Role models can be an appealing image of a successful lifestyle that is especially attractive to young people. We have seen that role models in advertisements can have a pulling effect on getting people to start gambling or play for longer than is justified. To protect vulnerable groups and young people, in particular, I have banned the use of role models," Weerwind said.
The ban applies to all advertising of high-risk games of chance, including online gambling, casinos, and sports betting. Charity lotteries, the state lottery, and the lotto are exempt from the ban as they are considered less risky games of chance. The Gambling Authority will supervise and enforce the ban starting immediately.
Gambling ads are already subject to stricter advertising regulations. They can't be misleading, promote inappropriate gambling behavior, present gambling as a solution to financial problems, or be aimed at minors and other vulnerable groups. Weerwind is also working on a regulation to ban untargeted advertisements for high-risk gambling.