Belgium to Crack Down on Online Casino Advertising
Belgium is set to adopt a more stringent set of codes and practices the moderate the advertisement of online gambling and sportsbetting-related products. This news comes from comments made by Belgian government officials who want to protect their population of 11.4 million people from unethical advertising practices.
Developed over a year
These new rules were in development for over one year before being approved by parliament late last month. According to reports from SBCNews and Casino Players Report, Koen Geens – the Justice Minister for Belgium who belongs to the Christian Democratic and Flemish political party – won cross-bench support for the plans.
Under the new rules advertisers will no longer be able to advertise online casino services via television, meanwhile digital adverts will only be shown on websites which are approved by the government.
Influencer marketing will also take a hit, given that celebrities or athletes will no longer be able to endorse iGaming services. These ads will also need to be accompanied by a gambling warning and advertisers will no longer be able to focus on platforms or media which have a target audience composed primarily of minors.
There are also some functional limits that the new regulations will impose in the future: the maximum bonus that sites can offer will be lowered to around an estimated $308 while credit card deposits will also be banned. iGaming firms also face a worrying prospect given that there are plans in the works to impose a limit on weekly individual deposits, with an estimated limit of around $560.
Sportsbetting In the Crosshairs Too
The new directives also target the world of sportsbetting, proposing that in the future an 8pm television watershed will be imposed and that sportsbetting adverts cannot be broadcast during live sporting events and other particular circumstances.
The local promotion of online gaming and sportsbetting has been regulated locally by the Belgian Gaming Commission since 2011. In that time it has been the subject of intermittent criticism from various parties within the iGaming industry. This criticism has been levelled based upon the belief that land-based operators are receiving unfair advantages.