KSA reminds operators of role model ban ahead of implementation

The Dutch Gaming Authority, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has issued a reminder to operators active in the country’s marketplace of the immediate ban on ‘role models’ in marketing. 

From 30 June onwards, Dutch market incumbents will be prohibited from using any public figures familiar with younger consumers in their marketing and advertising campaigns. 

This will include footballers and other prominent sports stars, as well as YouTubers and other social media influencers, in recognition of changing consumer habits between different demographics. 

“In letters, the KSA points out the stricter rules that will apply from 30 June. From this date, role models are no longer allowed to appear in gambling advertisements,” the KSA’s statement outlined.

“This concerns all persons who enjoy some form of public fame, such as (former) professional football players, influencers and models. Only the charity lotteries, the state lottery and the lotto are exempt from the ban.

“The gambling providers receive the letter because they are responsible for their advertising. The selected marketing and influencer agencies and industry associations have been informed because they are important links in the advertising sector.”

The Authority further emphasised that it will closely monitor betting firms’ compliance with the ban from 30 June onwards, adding that ‘enforcement will be immediately initiated’ in the event of any violations. 

Marketing of sports betting and gambling products have become a key focus of both the KSA and Dutch politicians in recent months, as the country’s online market continues to mature since regulation under the KOA Act last October.

There are currently 11 licensed operators active in the Dutch online market, with some predicting that this could expand even more over the coming years to reach at least 20.

Dutch advertising spend subsequently reached €23 million by the close of last year, 

and the Minister for Legal Protection, Franc Weerwind, noted that ‘the number of gambling advertisements has increased sharply’.

This ‘sharp increase’ in the prevalence of televised betting commercials is partly one of the reasons behind the decision to implement a ‘role model’ ban. 

However, Weerwind has also acknowledged that there has been positive engagement between betting and the government on advertising issues, such as operators agreeing to ease advertising on the radio, outdoors and in print media.

In an update yesterday, the Minister also showed confidence in the provisions of the KOA Act relating to advertising, but did add that ‘excessive and untargeted advertising that could jeopardise the safeguards of vulnerable people’.

Meanwhile, the KSA has also announced an evaluation of Dutch advertising standards, launching a two part investigation assessing whether adverts have been sent to minors and young adults and the prevalence of social media marketing targeting this demographic.

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