Belgium warned on new advertising restrictions

News on 11 Nov 2018

The gambling industry in Belgium has reacted to new restrictions on advertising approved by the Belgiian government, warning that these may drive punters to illegal and unlicensed operators.

After mulling the gambling advertising situation for a year, lawmakers led by Justice Minister Koen Geens pushed the restrictions through parliament and, according to a government update this (November) month, the new restrictions will be implemented.

These include a complete ban on all online casino television advertising, a requirement that gambling adverts include problem gambling warnings, and a tighter digital advertising framework for online casino operators requiring them to promote their product only on government-approved websites with restricted messaging.

On the sports betting and advertising front, an 8pm TV watershed on sports betting advertising is to implemented, with no marketing coverage allowed during live sports broadcasts, whilst there is likely to be a ban on celebrity or athlete endorsements of gambling products and services.

The online industry in Belgium continues to protest that government legislation is increasingly leaning towards favouring the land-based industry, and the new restrictions will do little to dispel that perception.

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