Changes to be introduced in phases

Netherlands aiming to limit gambling ads starting 2023; shirt sponsorship ban in 2025

Franc Weerwind, Netherlands' Legal Protection Minister
Reading time 1:18 min

Netherlands Govt. officials have announced that, starting in 2023, online gambling companies will encounter new conditions when it comes to advertising. From 2025 onward, sponsoring the shirts of sports teams will be banned in the country, as stated by Legal Protection Minister Franc Weerwind.

The associated bill to limit advertising will be introduced in phases, with a ban on untargeted advertising coming into effect in 2023, according to NL Times. This provision concerns ads that people have not actively shown interest in, such as by using search engines online to find gambling websites. 

From 2024 onwards, online gambling companies will no longer be allowed to sponsor programs and events, with the ban on sponsoring sports facilities and shirts coming into force the following year. This implies current sports clubs have two and a half years to find new sponsors. 

Last week, Weerwind announced an immediate ban on the use of celebrities and influencers in gambling advertisements. The Tweede Kamer -House of Representatives- is pushing for a total ban now. 

Weerwind believes he is fulfilling the wishes of MPs with this new bill: “The Cabinet and I think sports are very important. But at the same time I want to suppress gambling and gambling addiction," he stated, according to the cited source.

Online gambling became legalized in the Netherlands on October 1, also making it possible for betting operators to advertise. This soon implied a barrage of advertisements within the Dutch sports landscape, leading the parliament to explore new alternatives.

It is worth noting the Netherlands is not alone in its effort to ban shirt sponsorship in sports. The UK Gov. is also exploring a prohibition on this form of advertisement as part of its ongoing gaming review. Premier League -the top level of the English football league system- clubs postponed a scheduled vote on a voluntary ban last week as the political crisis in Westminster, driven by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s resignation, threatens to delay industry reforms. 

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