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Dutch Parliament Votes to Ban Online Gambling Advertising and High-Risk Activities, Including Slots

Updated: Apr 18

The Dutch House of Representatives has made a significant move by voting in favor of banning online gambling advertising and high-risk online gambling activities, including slots. The motion, proposed by Socialist party MP Michiel van Nispen, received just enough support for a majority. This decision marks a shift from previous debates, where similar motions did not gain enough traction.

Dutch Parliament Votes to Ban Online Gambling Advertising and High-Risk Activities, Including Slots

The ban on online gambling advertising extends to all forms of targeted ads, reflecting a tightening of regulations in the Netherlands. This follows the implementation of an untargeted advertising ban in July 2023, which prohibited mass advertising on various platforms and media outlets, including sports sponsorships.

Another adopted motion focuses on banning online gambling activities deemed to have a "demonstrably very high risk," with online slots highlighted as a principal example. This motion garnered support from a majority of MPs, signaling a growing concern over the potential harm associated with certain forms of online gambling.

While the majority in the House of Representatives supports these bans, it remains to be seen how they will be enshrined in law. The responsibility now falls on Franc Weerwind, the Minister for Legal Protection, to review and approve the proposed measures. Weerwind has previously advocated for responsible gambling measures but has not explicitly expressed support for stricter regulations.

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The potential ban on online slots and high-risk gambling activities could have significant repercussions for the regulated gambling industry in the Netherlands. With a substantial portion of revenue currently derived from online casinos, a ban on certain activities could lead to a resurgence of the unregulated black market, similar to what has been observed in Germany.

The success of the Dutch regulated gambling market, with a high level of channelization estimated at 90%, contrasts with the challenges faced by over-regulated markets like Germany. Recent studies have highlighted the prevalence of unlicensed operators in Germany, resulting in substantial revenue losses for the state.

Ultimately, the decision to ban online gambling advertising and high-risk activities reflects a broader effort to protect consumers from potential harm associated with excessive gambling. However, the implementation of these measures will require careful consideration to balance consumer protection with the sustainability of the regulated gambling market.



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