The Belgian government has announced that it place a blanket ban on all forms of gambling advertisements starting on July 1st, 2023.
The ban will cover all media platforms including TV, radio, social media, websites, print media, cinemas as well as ads in all public places. The new rules will be the strictest gambling advertising rules in place in any regulated market in Europe.
The decision was announced in the government’s official gazette and confirms the sanction of the ‘Royal Decree on Gambling Advertising Reforms’ which was originally authored by Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne and approved last year. The minister has been calling for a ban on all forms of gambling advertising since 2020.
In a statement, the minister said:
“With the publication in the Belgian Official Gazette, the decision is now clear: gambling advertising will be seriously restricted from 1 July 2023. This is necessary because the normalisation and banalisation of gambling must finally stop.”
Last year, the Minister stated that tough advertising laws were required, citing scientific research suggesting that advertising encourages gambling addiction and contributes to gambling-related debt.
While the advertising ban will come into effect on July 1st, there is a provision for gambling advertising within football stadiums to be phased out. However, it must cease completely by January 1st 2025.
Both amateur and professional sports clubs in Belgium will be allowed to fulfill any contractual obligations with sports betting sponsorship deals until January 1st, 2028.