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IAK forbids untargeted promotions for online gambling

As of october 1st 2021 the online gambling market in the Netherlands has been opened, as online gambling became legal. Since then, the public promotions of online gambling have soared in the country. Bus stops and billboards filled with gambling promotions and tv commercials about online gambling starring all kinds of Dutch celebrities, became the new norm. But no more, says the IAK, Integrated Assessment framework for Policy and Regulations.

A motion from minister Van Nispen (SP) has been accepted by the government, making it impossible for an online casino Nederland to execute untargeted promotions and sponsor sports clubs. The current public promotion of online gambling is considered untargeted, as it reaches many vulnerable groups of the society, such as youngsters and (former) gambling addicts. After the motion was accepted, an eight week period in which casinos can reply to this amendment of the law, has been put into place. This period will last until the 4th of september 2022 and will give online casinos a chance to argue the purposes of this law.  

The amendment of the gambling law is not a surprise as many gambling addicts and former addicts have indicated that the constant exposure to gambling promotions is hard to deal with. Furthermore, since the opening of the Dutch gambling market, the time that people have spent on gambling sites has increased tremendously. The use of prominent figures in the Dutch culture for promotional purposes, has also made the younger public much more vulnerable to online gambling as well. 

The new law might be a big setback for some online casinos, but it also brings good things such as strict regulation. Because of this new law, the Dutch gambling authority is now able to grant licenses to casinos, which highly increases the reliability of the online casinos on the market and protects Dutch consumers. In addition, they may also revoke these licenses when a casino does not comply with the law. Online casinos that offer trustworthy payment methods such as Trustly casinos and do not influence the outcome of the gamble, may receive a license more easily than casinos that do not offer such things. 

The new law will go into enactment on january 1st 2023. The goal is to reduce the amount of untargeted promotions for online gambling. Furthermore, the new law is supposed to decrease the exposure of youngsters to online gambling and protect addicts or former addicts as well. 

It will be a few more months before this new law goes into enactment, however, there are already strict rules for the promotion of online gambling set in place. For example, (online) casinos may not focus their commercials on vulnerable groups in the society, including addicts and youngsters between 18 and 24 years old. 


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