The Netherlands Ban Online Gambling Adverts and High-Risk Games

The Netherlands’ House of Representatives has taken a decisive step in the regulation of online gambling by voting in favor of banning online gambling advertisements and high-risk games, such as slots. The motions, proposed by Socialist Party MP Michiel van Nispen, received just enough support for a majority, signaling a significant shift in the country’s approach to online gambling.

Dutch Parliament Passes Stringent Measures Against Online Gambling

During a session on April 16, a total of 114 motions were deliberated, with 14 stemming from previous debates on gambling. Of these, ten were adopted, including measures for mandatory financial risk checks and identification requirements in the gambling sector, reported Dutch gambling media outlet Casino Nieuws.

This decision marks a departure from previous attempts to implement such bans. A similar motion for a total ban on gambling advertising failed to garner enough support in February. However, this time around, with a slim majority of 77 votes, the motion proposed by Van Nispen has been successfully passed.

The ban encompasses all forms of online advertising, extending the restrictions imposed by the untargeted advertising ban that came into effect in July 2023. This earlier ban targeted mass advertising on various platforms, including radio, television, outdoor locations, and print media, along with sports sponsorships.

Dutch Parliament Backs Ban on High-Risk Online Gambling, Minister to Weigh In

Another significant aspect of the approved motions is the call for a ban on β€œonline gambling with a demonstrably very high risk.” This includes games like online slots, where players have limited control over the outcome. Despite concerns about the impact on the regulated industry and state revenue, a majority of 79 MPs supported this measure.

However, while the parliamentary approval is a crucial step, the implementation of these bans will depend on the Minister for Legal Protection, Franc Weerwind. Weerwind, known for advocating responsible gambling measures, will review and approve the proposed laws.

The potential consequences of such bans are not limited to the regulated sector. There are concerns about the resurgence of the unregulated black market, as seen in Germany, which experienced a surge in traffic to illicit operators after implementing similar restrictions.

For the Dutch regulated market, which has achieved high levels of channelization, these bans could be a double-edged sword. While intended to protect players and curb excessive gambling, they may also pose challenges in maintaining market integrity and revenue generation.

As discussions continue on the finer details and enforcement mechanisms of these bans, stakeholders are closely watching how the Netherlands navigates the complex terrain of online gambling regulation.