CDA proposes Dutch gambling advertising ban ahead of KOA Act vote

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Dutch gambling advertising could soon be a thing of the past as a mandate has been filed to ban all gambling advertising ahead of the parliamentary vote on the Remote Gambling Act later this week. 

Following calls for an overhaul of Dutch gambling advertising laws led by Derk Boswijk of the Christian Democratic Appeal party, the mandate will look to remove and ban all advertising before further safer gambling amendments are voted into the RG Act. 

Franc Weerwind, Minister for Legal Protections, continues to face pressure to revise the amendments of the RG Act, otherwise known as the KOA Act, initiating a review of the Netherlands’ online gambling marketplace since it opened in October 2021. 

In February, the Dutch parliament, the Kamer, will vote on Weerwind’s recommendations to impose a compulsory monthly financial risk check on player accounts that spend over €350. Weerwind has further endorsed that a €150 spend limit be applied on the gambling accounts of customers younger than 24.

Gambling reformists across Dutch politics have dismissed Weerwind’s proposals as inadequate, suggesting that the KOA must be stricter on key disciplines of advertising, financial risk checks and customer care duties.

The CDA, a consistent challenger of the KOA regime, has declared that it seeks bilateral support to ‘terminate the KOA Act’, questioning its ability ‘to protect Dutch consumers from pathological gambling disorders’. 

As a result, CDA minister Boswijk has called for a ‘total ban on gambling advertising’, a mandate signed by Diederik van Dijk (SGP), Nicolien van Vroonhoven (NSC), Michiel van Nispen (SP), and Mirjam Bikker (ChristenUnie).

Despite these calls, the KOA regime has initiated several changes to the nation’s gambling advertising laws, with ‘untargeted advertising’ becoming restricted across TV, radio and print and public spaces, following regulatory reforms backed by Weerwind. 

However, these provisions excluded general online marketing, direct mailing, and social media advertising. Previous statements by Weerwind also point to a planned phase out of sports gambling sponsorships by 2025. 

Just last week, Weerwind also faced pressure from the ChristenUnie party, which launched an attempt to revise KOA rules said to be ‘deficient’ in protecting players from excessive online gambling. 

Backed by several parties including the CDA, the CU’s proposal requested Weerwind to review his previously mandated €150 spend restriction on players under 24, and consider a ‘universal financial loss limit’ applied to all 27 KOA-licensed operators instead.  

Weerwind stands by his recommendations as Legal Minister tasked with overseeing gambling reforms in which the Kamer will stick to its regulatory agenda and vote on upcoming market reforms.