The Belgium Gambling Commission is calling for a reduction in the number of advertisements around gambling. This also includes a total ban on personalized ads sent to the young population. The call comes as part of a raft of changes in advertising.
The raft of changes comes as a suggestion by the Belgium Gambling Commission as the government seeks to tighten the rules around gambling ads even further. It should be noted that bonuses are already illegal in the country. And online casino games marketing was on the verge of following the same route following a Royal Decree were it not for a court ruling that struck it down.
The gambling watchdog tabled six severe measures aimed at limiting the volume of advertising forwarded to vulnerable groups. One of these measures included prohibiting ads for young persons who haven’t gambled for a long time or those who already excluded themselves. What the regulator failed to mention is the actual cut-off age or even the length of the break that it applies to.
On top of that, the Commission suggested an overall restriction on the persons to whom it’s allowed to present the ads. Also on the list of suggestions is a requirement to add a warning message in the ads. The regulator also suggested that players should have an option to opt out of personal ads.
Public space advertising may no longer be a thing should the regulator’s suggestion to ban them go through. The final suggestion by the gambling watchdog is a proposed cap on how much advertising is allowed. However, the regulator failed to mention the preferred frequency.
In addition to the suggestions around gambling advertising, the regulator also called for better flexibility when it comes to enforcing the existing rules. The Commission said its performance would increase significantly should it have a framework on how the regulations should be applied. This is opposed to simply having a list of illegal marketing means.
The gambling watchdog state that past experience proved that simply listing the prohibitions related to gambling advertising is insufficient in preventing abuses. The Royal Decree of 2018 was the Commission’s target when putting forward this observation. According to the regulator, preventing the excesses of gambling ads is difficult and the rules are simply unsustainable.
The BGC explained that having a framework will allow for sustainability in terms of reflecting the ever-changing gambling landscape. This would in turn fortify the GC’s role as chief regulator. The regulator also called for more power to act on law-breakers as opposed to imposing sanctions on operators, which is quite lengthy.
The suggestions to impose gambling ad restrictions come at the back of a move by Belgian legislatures to introduce an amendment forcing players to have two separate accounts. One for betting and another for casino gambling. However, the move received heavy criticism as it was termed as a danger to the safer gambling strides made by BAGO. This is a local operator association.
The Belgian government has already introduced restrictions on ads for Belgium’s newsagents, betting times, and stakes.