27 December 2021, by Victoria Séveno

A recent increase in the number of advertisements for gambling platforms has led the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) to call for a national ban on all untargeted betting ads. 

Gambling ads becoming more common in the Netherlands

A recent change to Dutch law has meant that, since October 1, online gambling has been legal in the Netherlands. This has led to a huge spike in the number of online gambling platforms, and has had knock-on effects on the visibility and frequency of TV advertisements for betting platforms. Figures suggest this has resulted in a 50 percent increase in traffic on gambling sites since the autumn.

While there are some rules in place in order to control and limit the influence of these ads – namely that they cannot target vulnerable people, may not feature anyone under the age of 25, and cannot be broadcast before 9pm – politicians are concerned about the sheer volume of advertisements currently circulating in the Netherlands, and have called on the Dutch government to take action. 

Dutch MPs worry about social consequences of gambling

This month, a motion was submitted by Michiel van Nispen, an MP for the Socialist Party (SP), and Anne Kuik from the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) demanding a ban on “untargeted advertisements for high-risk games of chance.” The motion received overwhelming support from the House, with several political parties agreeing that “gambling advertisements must come to an end.” 

MPs that supported the motion raised concerns about the growing popularity of gambling sites, pointing out that it could lead to “major social consequences, such as financial problems and addiction problems.” 

Sander Dekker, the Dutch Minister for Legal Protection, argued that it was too early to introduce a ban, but agreed that the number of ads should be reduced. The government had hoped that changing the law in October could help to prevent cases of fraud and reduce the risk of addiction.

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