Legal protection minister Frank Weerwind is drawing up new rules to cover advertising by gambling companies, following the surge of television and radio ads now that online gambling has been legalised.
Eventually, the minister said, he wants to ban ‘indiscriminate’ advertising for gambling altogether.
MPs had called for a ban, given the dominance of gambling ads since the first licences for online gambling were handed out in 2021. Weerwind said in a briefing to parliament he is particularly concerned about the growing interest youngsters are showing in gambling, a group which he said is in need of protection.
Advertising should be far more focused on people who are already involved in games of chance, rather than finding new players, the minister said.
The minister said he aimed to have a draft amendment to the current legislation completed by the summer, which will then be put out to consultation.
Prior to that, he plans to bring in a ban on using ‘role models’ in gambling ads. In particular MPs have been angered by the use of former footballers, models and other celebrities in the adverts.
The industry has already agreed to limit television advertising to after 10pm, compared with 9pm at present, and there will be no more advertising on radio, printed media and on billboards from April 1 or ‘as soon as possible’ after that, the minister said.
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