Dutch gambling ads ‘more than double’ since online casino debuted

The Netherlands has experienced an influx in numbers of gambling advertisements both on television and the internet, more than double the figures when online casinos opened within the country. 

According to figures that de Volkskrant requested from the research agency Nielsen, the state-owned companies Holland Casino and Toto spent the most money on ad, with gross media spending in the past two months totalling around €6.4m and €4.5m respectively.

In calculating these amounts, Nielsen used the rate cards of television channels and websites. Any discounts or individual price agreements are not taken into account. In total, the gross media spending of the 11 online casinos was more than €23m.

Last Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a motion calling on the Dutch government to ban ‘untargeted advertisements for risky games of chance’, which include television commercials. 

Outgoing minister for legal protection, Sander Dekker, had advised against the motion, with de Volkskrant citing “he thinks it is still ‘too early’ for such an advertising ban”.

Since October, casinos in the Netherlands have been allowed to offer online games of chance such as poker and roulette. 

In an attempt to entice players, those of which previously used illegal and foreign gambling websites, to switch, the Dutch Gaming Authority granted licences to 11 casinos and allowed them to advertise its games on television and radio from 9pm.  

In October and November, Nielsen went live with a total of more than 366,000 betting ads on television and on the internet. Last year, that number was just over 170,000 for the same month. 

Since online gambling was legalised, three out of four gambling advertisements have focused on casinos’ digital offerings.

In response to the published figures, de Volkskrant stated that both Holland Casino and Toto responded by claiming “they do not aim to outdo competitors with their advertisements” with their aim to direct players “to the safe, responsible and legal offer of online games of chance”.

In addition, the companies pointed out that they were one of the first casinos to be licensed, which allowed them to start advertising early.

According to Nielsen figures, around 88 per cent of gambling advertisements appear on websites and social media. 

The House of Representatives wants to ban all advertisements from the internet during the day.