NOGA: we need to prevent a Dutch gambling advertising avalanche

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The Netherlands Online Gambling Association has called for a greater degree of cross sector cooperation and added restrictions when it comes to gambling advertisements in the country.

The industry association has raised its concerns at the country’s advertising code, which it says “does not go far enough” despite acknowledging that it is “very good that there is now an advertising code for online gambling”.

“We cannot afford that there will be no protection against too many gambling advertisements. And that last point is exactly what NOGA is so concerned about,” said Peter-Paul de Goeij, director of NOGA.

NOGA also questions a limit of three gambling advertisements per block, which applies only to internet gambling advertisements. 

“So, in addition to three advertisements for online gambling, Holland Casino, Gaston and Koning Toto will be allowed to advertise their offline offerings without any restrictions,” de Goeij continued.

“The viewer does not make the distinction between offline and online at all – the consumer just sees an irritating gambling ad. In addition, gambling advertisements of today’s gambling providers are already ubiquitous; on television, radio, internet, bus shelters and in our letterboxes. Let’s face it, consumers find too many gambling adverts just irritating.

“This irritation, and the flooding with gambling advertising, must be prevented. That’s why NOGA has been calling on all gambling providers, online, offline, the Postcodelottery – but also media parties and broadcasters – to sit down and make agreements on the total amount of gambling advertising in the Netherlands, since June 2019 already. 

“We need to do this to temper the growth that is coming, with the legalisation of the online market, and to prevent a gambling advertising avalanche.

“If we do not prevent this from happening, there may be a ban on gambling advertising introduced soon and then we will not be able to persuade consumers to play at a legal gambling site. NOGA therefore advocates advertising volume control.”

Moreover, NOGA has also questioned the absence of its members, which include Begame Group, bet365, Betsson, Betway, Entain, Flutter, Kindred, LeoVegas and Tombola, from the drafting process.

Despite “repeated requests” NOGA says that it “was not involved from the outset by the land-based providers who wrote the code”.

de Goeij added: “It is also a missed opportunity because NOGA was unable to contribute the varied and extensive international expertise acquired by its members in various other European countries. 

“NOGA was only allowed to comment on the final draft version as a sweetener, but its main criticisms were unfortunately brushed aside.

“Anyway, we are now turning the page and are looking forward again. We support the code, but with the important addition that that cross-sector agreement of advertising volume control, is absolutely necessary and I would like to invite here – again – all colleagues, the media parties and the broadcasters – to get around the table in a coalition of willing, to jointly prevent a gambling advertising avalanche.”