Newsletter - Minister: “More research needed before introducing sweeping advertising restrictions” .

NEXT WEEK | GiH webinar “The Dutch online market opening & beyond”

Join us on Wednesday, January 19 at 15:00 CET, for a comprehensive look at the current state of the regulated Dutch online market.


Topics:

· Licensing & the licensing process

· Enforcement

· Future advertising restrictions


Speakers:

· Geraldine Huijssoon, Head of the Supervision and Operator Department at the Netherlands Gambling Authority

· Justin Franssen, Head of the Gaming & Gaming Practice Group at Kalff Katz & Franssen

· Frank Tolboom, Partner at Kalff Katz & Franssen


Don't miss it! Register today: https://bit.ly/3pjVtu3


Flutter Entertainment completes Tombola acquisition

Flutter Entertainment has completed the acquisition of UK online bingo operator, Tombola, for a value of £402m (€482m). The purchase had been announced in November 2021.

Tombola is currently one of the eleven online operators in possession of a Dutch remote license.


Flutter currently operates several sports betting and gaming brands, including Paddy Power, Betfair, FanDuel, Fox Bet, Sportsbet, TVG, Adjarabet and PokerStars.

ICE London to take place in April 2022


Clarion Gaming has confirmed that ICE London will now run from 12 to 14 April 2022.

ICE London was originally due to take place from 1 to 3 February, followed by iGB Affiliate London from 2 to 5 February 2022, at ExCeL London. However, the events were postponed as a result of the uncertainty caused by the Omicron variant of Covid-19.


The week at the ExCeL will begin with the ICE VOX conference, which starts on 11 April with the World Regulatory Briefing and International Casino Conference, running to 13 April.

ICE then opens its doors on 12 April, with iGB Affiliate London kicking off a day later and this year’s iGB Affiliate Awards hosted at The Troxy that evening.


Netherlands-licensed operators spent €3.5m/week on broadcast and print advertising in Q4

Following the opening of the regulated Dutch online market, Netherlands-licensed operators spent on average €3.5m each week on broadcast and print advertising, according to market researcher DVJ Insights. Online advertising spend is not included in these figures.


State-owned Holland Casino and TOTO were by far the biggest spenders during this time.

A further increase in overall advertising spend is expected when other licensees enter the market.


Netherlands Gambling Authority chair, René Jansen noted in a personal blog post that political patience with the dramatic increase in gambling advertising volumes is wearing very thin indeed. Jansen reiterated his oft-repeated message that the operators and other stakeholders must show restraint. Effective self-regulation should “perhaps go further” than the recently announced Gambling Advertising Code developed by trade association VNLOK, Jansen added.


VNLOK represents several Dutch incumbent operators, including TOTO and Holland Casino.


Minister: “More research needed before introducing sweeping advertising restrictions”

Just prior to stepping down, Minister for Legal Protection, Sander Dekker sent a letter to the Dutch Lower House, outlining his response to a recently adopted motion calling on the government to introduce a ban on all “untargeted” gambling advertising.


Dekker said the government should first carefully consider the legal possibilities and ramifications of such far-reaching restrictions:


“A number of policy choices have to be made about, among other things, what constitutes ‘untargeted’ advertising and to which media these restrictions should apply. It must also be clear what would be the expected effects of such restrictions on the market channelization objective, on the overall goals of existing gambling policy, and operators’ financial contributions to charities and sports. Furthermore, it is important to have clear expectations of the effects on sports sponsorships and land-based games of chance. Finally, it must be clear how the proposed restrictions will relate to European law, in particular the free movement of services and the freedom of expression.”

The decision whether to implement a ban on “untargeted” gambling advertising will therefore be left to the incoming government. Further decisions are expected to be announced in April.

At this time, the government will also share more information on the technical feasibility of mandatory time slots for online advertising, similar to those for broadcast advertising.


In order to head off a potential broadcast advertising ban, all TV channels in the Netherlands have now promised to limit gambling ads to a single thirty second ad per commercial break from February 1, 2022.


Dekker's letter thus offers at least a temporary reprieve to the industry. The delay also offers operators, as well as other stakeholders, another opportunity to take joint action to prevent the introduction of more restrictive advertising policies.


Other news

Spain is on track to introduce tighter online gambling regulations, including mandatory loss and time limits.


Andrew Rhodes, the interim chief of the UK Gambling Commission, is to be appointed as permanent CEO, the Guardian reports.


The opening of the New York mobile sports betting market is being lauded as a “huge moment” and “significant milestone” by European B2B suppliers.


State-owned operator Toto-Lotto GmbH Baden-Würtenburg appears to become Germany’s first licensed operator of online casino table (bankholder) games.


Live dealer gaming supplier Ezugi, owned by Evolution, has received a license from the UK Gambling Commission to offer its games in Great Britain.