MPs Seek Tighter Restrictions as Gambling Ads Double in Netherlands

by Natasha Lyndon - Monday, December 20th, 2021 9:54

online casino games

According to a report in Dutch Newspaper Volkskrant, gambling ads in the Netherlands have doubled since the online casino industry launched in October 2021.

The report reveals that research carried out by Nielsen shows that in October and November of 2020, there were 170,066 gambling ads in the Dutch market. This grew by 115% to 366,631 for the same period in 2021.

Online casinos officially launched on October 1st 2021, with local regulator de Kansspelautoriteit issuing 10 online gambling licenses to operators in time for the launch. An eleventh license was issued in late November.

The 11 operators are:

  • Fair Play Online
  • GGPoker
  • Batavia Casino
  • bingo ball
  • TOTO
  • Holland Casino
  • Tombola
  • bet365
  • LiveScore Bet
  • Joi Gaming

According to Nielsen, the two biggest spenders in the market were state-owned operators Holland Casino and TOTO.

Holland Casino spent over €6.4 million on commercials for its online products and services while TOTO spent €4.6 million.

Of the privately-owned operators Fair Play Online had the biggest spend with €3.3 million followed closely by Batavia Casino with just over €3.2 million. Tombola spent €2.6 million for ads during the same period.

Of the 366,631 ads released during the industry’s first two months of operation, 88% of commercials appeared on websites and on social media platforms, two channels that are not as heavily regulated as TV commercials. According to local legislation, gambling ads can only appear on TV during certain times of the day to prevent minors from being exposed to gambling promotions. However, this is not the case when advertising online.

Member of the Tweede Kamer have voiced their concerns about the significant increase in gambling ads saying that the commercials could lead to a rise in problem gambling particularly among young people.

As a result, politicians have suggested that more restrictions be introduced for gambling ads that appear on the internet with a particular focus on those that appear on social media platforms. This would include a ban on ads before 9pm, similar to commercials that appear on TV and a complete ban on untargeted ads for games of risk.

Speaking to Volkskrant, health psychologist Arie Dijkstra said:

“As an individual, I get to see a gambling commerical, but I also know that others see the same advertisements. Combined with legalization, it leads to a change in social norms. It will definitely lead to a rise in addiction.”

However, Minister of Legal Protection Sander Dekker has said that while he would consider the wishes of the Tweede Kamer, he thinks it is “too early” for a ban on gambling ads.

Natasha Lyndon

Based in London, Natasha is a former sports journalist with experience working for some of the biggest athletes & brands in the world of sports and iGaming.