Despite agreement, some online gambling firms are still advertising outdoors


Online gambling companies are still advertising on hoardings and bus shelters, despite pledging to end the practice by April 1 or as quickly as possible afterwards, NOS said on Tuesday.

While most of the big firms have stopped, Betcity is continuing to place its posters outdoors and will do so until its contract with the outside advertising firm ends, a spokesman told the broadcaster.

However newly licenced firm Circus, which uses former football player Ronaldinho on its posters, told NOS it was not part of the earlier agreement. Without advertising, the company said, it has few routes to alert the public to its services.

‘All the available advertising space has been taken already, including by state owned companies,’ company director Martijn Maertens said. ‘It is virtually impossible to squeeze in and that feels like the market is being closed off.’

Maertens did say the posters featuring Ronaldinho would be gone by the end of June, when new rules banning footballers and other personalities from promoting online gambling come into effect.

Legal protection minister Franc Weerwind said in March that online gambling firms should stop advertising outdoors, and made agreements with the two sector organisations VNLOK and Noga. He has also pledged to bring in more regulatory measures.

The government licenced 10 online gambling companies last October with the aim of attracting compulsive gamblers away from websites which are illegal in the Netherlands. Their number has since risen to 18 and is set to increase to 25 shortly.

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