Netherlands bans celebrities and influencers from appearing in gambling ads

Netherlands bans celebrities and influencers from appearing in gambling ads

After Netherlands’ Minister for Legal Protection, Franc Weerwind, amended the regulation on advertising, as of Thursday celebrities are no longer allowed to appear in gambling ads in the country. 

The amendment forbids “all persons who enjoy some form of public fame or with whom people want to identify or associate themselves” from appearing in gaming-related ads in an attempt to protect vulnerable groups from gambling harm and addiction.

Former and current professional footballers, influencers, models, singers and well-known poker players are among the personalities comprehended in this amendment. The measure comes in response to a flood of gambling ads that hit the country since online gambling became legal in October 2021. Experts have shown concern that the constant barrage could increase problem gambling. 

“Role models can be an appealing image of a successful lifestyle that is especially attractive to young people. We have seen that role models in advertisements can have a pulling effect on getting people to start gambling or play for longer than is justified. To protect vulnerable groups and young people, in particular, I have banned the use of role models,” Weerwind said, according to Netherlands Times.

The ban applies to all advertising of high-risk games of chance, including online gambling, casinos, and sports betting. Charity lotteries, the state lottery, and the lotto are exempt from the ban as they are considered less risky games of chance. The Gambling Authority will supervise and enforce the ban starting immediately.

Gambling ads are already subject to strict advertising regulation that prevents them from being of misleading nature, promoting inappropriate gambling behavior, presenting gambling as a solution to financial problems, or being aimed at minors and other vulnerable groups. A regulation to ban untargeted ads for high-risk gambling is also in the works.