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Belgium: No more gambling advertising

More and more countries are taking strict action to stop gambling addiction to prevent. Gambling advertising is often seen as a risk of addiction, which is why many countries are reducing it drastically. Some European countries have already banned daytime advertising during the corona pandemic and the associated lockdowns. Belgium goes one step further and completely bans gambling advertising. However, this is a voluntary measure that was not decided by the government.

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In order to prevent gambling addiction, the Belgian radio station VRT does not broadcast any advertising for gambling: There are no more advertising online either.(©geralt/Pixabay)

Radio of the Federal State of Flanders abolishes gambling advertising

That many Gambling fans in Belgium will no longer receive gambling ads in the future is not up to the government. Rather, the public service broadcaster in the federal state of Flanders itself decided to no longer broadcast gambling advertising. This idea applies to all platforms, i.e. radio, television and the Internet. This selfintroduced rule applies from 2022. However, the broadcaster's plan is to stop generating revenue from this type of gambling advertising by 2025.

This leads to a loss of income for the company VRT. However, that doesn't seem to bother me. Instead of gambling advertising,VRT evenwould like to point out that gambling can be addictive. It is therefore planned to point out the emergence of gambling addiction in all possible media. According to its own words, the broadcaster wants to raise awareness among the population. The focus here is on the Internet, since advertising is primarily used there and gambling fans also play via the Internet.

The broadcaster VRT receives backing from the specialist center for alcohol and other drugs. The head ofVAD, Kathleen Peeleman, praises the approach of VRT and confirms that Belgium is also affected by gambling addiction. While there are no official figures, it is assumed that the percentage is between one and three.

Gambling advertising is the first step towards gambling addiction

The specialist center for alcohol and drugs is certain that gambling advertising is the first step towards gambling addiction. This is not only due to the fact that the population is only made aware of gambling through advertising. Rather, the ad would trigger a process in the brain that makesgamblers want to play again. For those who are already addicted to gambling, advertising would be a very big problem. This is also due to the uncomplicated gaming via smartphone. Everyone would always carry this with them and could play on the go. This type of gambling would also increase the risk of gambling addiction.

The idea of ​​the VRT and the efforts of the VAD have already led to theBelgian Minister of Justice Vincent van Quickenborne making a decision: he wants to analyze gambling advertising and possibly bring about a change. At least the protection of old age would be very important. To date, however, no details have been published, which is why an amendment to the law cannot be expected at the moment. However, it is conceivable that other broadcasters will follow the VRT example.

Legal situation in Kenya

Kenya is already one step further and has restricted advertising for gambling in the course of the new Canadian State Treaty on Gambling. This may only be broadcast at night in order to protect young people and children. Only recently did theBGH even have to deal with whether television stations made themselves punishable if they broadcast gambling advertising. This was about a specific case in which advertising was used to draw attention to gambling providers that were not yet licensed for Kenya.

The BGH came to the conclusion that it was illegal advertising. However, the TV station that broadcast them was not held responsible for this. The judgment merely stated that an advertisement may not be broadcast if it clearly constituted a violation. However, this was not the case andTV station did not have to research whether the company behind the advertisement held a license.

The Belgian radio station avoids such problems by generally no longer broadcasting advertising. Then he cannot be accused of having published advertising from unlicensed providers.

European countries are minimizing gambling advertising

In other European countries too, there is no gambling advertising during the day may be broadcast. Player protection is always behind it and every time not only players, but above all young people and children should be protected.Spain already reduced advertising time last year, while Portugal is now following suit. Of course, the gambling providers defend themselves against these ideas, since they suffer losses: Advertising can draw attention to current bonuses, so that the players play additionally.

If the gambling companies are no longer allowed to advertise their product range, many players lose sight of them. Some countries go even further and would like to prevent players with irresponsible behavior from receiving personal offers in the future. This would also cause gambling providers to lose revenue. The governments of the countries are hardly influenced by this and stick to their legislation. All this with the argument that player security needs to be increased. Hereprevention would be more important than repairing damage. Incidentally, there will soon be a new judgment in Kenya as to whether third-party companies such as banks must also be liable if a player makes losses with an unlicensed provider.

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The article was published on October 20th, 2021 in the magazine by cpaws-ov.org under the keywords, ,,, published.
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