Gambling in Belgium: advertising ban?

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Peter Brandt 13. May 2023

In Belgium, a general ban on advertising for any form of gambling is currently being discussed. The topic was already addressed by MP Stefaan van Hecke in February 2023, but found no supporters at the time. However, Vincent van Quickenborne, Minister of Justice of the country, has taken on the matter.

A general ban on gambling in Belgium would also prohibit sponsorship by gambling companies in the local football leagues. ((© Walderara Brands / On Plas Plash)

Fighting gambling addiction as the main argument

Van Quickenborne vehemently defended itself against Van Hecke’s law in February 2023. The Belgian Minister of Justice obviously changed his opinion three months later. He is now considered Initiator of the general gambling advertising banIn his opinion, which, in his opinion, is urgently necessary to protect the population from the potential dangers of gambling.

As Belgian media recently reported, van Quickenborne supports the desired ban on the Fighting gambling addiction in the country. According to his statement, around 64 percent of adults in Belgium are involved in any form of gambling. Above all, players who no longer have their game behavior under control would have to be protected. This part of the Belgian gambling community often gives half of their monthly salary for gambling.

In an interview with Belgian media, the Minister of Justice said that the advertising for gambling offer entirely Automatically many people encourage gaming. In his opinion, people with real interest in gambling do not need a request or memory Advertising like the Telegram messenger service.

Gambling & sports betting. If Vincent van Quickenborne gain enough supporters for his legal advance, the general ban on gambling would affect both the classic gambling and the sports betting industry in Belgium.

Does the black market benefit?

At the moment it is not yet clear whether the ban on gambling can win a majority in the Belgian parliament. Resistance has already made up. Both political officials and representatives from gambling and sport most recently criticized the idea of an advertising ban. For example, the Belgian Gambling Association Bago (Belgian Association of Gaming Operators) sees the risk that the black market will experience enormous influx.

Sea Bago press release Is advertising a necessary instrument to draw the players in Belgium to the legal, regulated and safe range of gambling. A ban On the other hand, torpedo the sewage order And plays illegal providers in the cards. As a current example, the Bago led the gaming market in USA in a statement. The restrictive handling of gambling advertising there has increased the illegal offer from 2019 to 2021 by 50 percent.

The negative consequences for the legal and regulated gaming market in Belgium, which leads to a general ban on advertising, have held the local gambling supervision in the past from taking that measure. In the opinion of the Bago, the new advance shows that the Politics too little insight into the industry has and the mutual exchange must be improved.

Fight against gambling addiction. In Belgium, gambling providers are obliged to implement certain measures for player protection. For example, the respective operators use modern technologies with artificial intelligence to uncover striking game behavior early on.

No more sponsorship in football

Which far -reaching effects an actual Realization of a gambling advertising ban has, among other things, clear in sport. For example, bookmakers or online casinos that have entered into a sponsoring deal with Belgian football clubs Put agreement on ice. The reason: Sponsoring is considered an extended form of advertising and is therefore recorded by the ban.

According to George-Louis Bouchez, Senator and Chairman of the “Mouvement Réformateur” (MR) party, intervention in domestic football is an absurdity. In the politician’s eyes, the planned advertising ban for any form of real and Online gambling Completely covered. Football and the entire professional sport in Belgium would brought into great financial difficulties will.

Lorin Parys also hits the same notch. The Chairman of the July Pro League-the highest football league in Belgium-recently said that a sponsorship ban for companies from the gaming industry of the league will add enormous financial damage. The clubs would Lose 100 million $ a year. This corresponds to around twelve percent of the total revenue of the clubs.

Responsibility of football. The collaborations between the professional football clubs in Belgium and the groups from the gambling industry are subject to numerous agreements and clauses that are intended to promote player protection in the country. Football has been committed to fighting gambling addiction for a long time. This wants to meet the respective associations of their social responsibility. According to Parys, a general ban on gambling is not appropriate.