Dutch regulator issues first warning to licensed company for “misleading” online betting ads

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The Netherlands Gambling Authority (KSA) has issued its first warning to a licensed business in its recently-launched regulated market for “misleading advertising for online sports betting”.

The KSA said the licensee had hidden links to its website on another site which presented football news and odds. When a user clicked on the odds, they would be taken “unsuspectingly” to the operator’s website, the regulator claimed.

This form of advertising is prohibited according to the country’s Remote Gambling Act (KOA), as it states that any gambling advertising “must be careful and not mislead”.

When advertising iGaming, the KOA requires that adverts must be clearly identified, and advertisers should also make clear who is responsible for each advert.

The KOA demands several other obligations with regards to licensees’ marketing and advertising, and the same obligations must also be met when advertising is done through another party, as in this case.

After informing the licensee that its ad was misleading, the KSA ordered the operator to adjust or remove the advert within 36 hours. The advert was subsequently withdrawn.

The KOA sets out various restrictions on advertising iGaming. For example, operators must not target customers between the ages of 18 and 24 online. Advertising campaigns cannot feature endorsement by anyone under 25, and campaign content must not recommend players to gamble as a means of making money.

Licensed sportsbooks, meanwhile, are restricted from displaying any in-broadcast wagering promotions or market updates during live sports broadcasts, while strict promotional laws mean that bonuses must not be used as a tool or incentive to re-engage customers with products.

Last week, the regulator clamped down on 15 affiliates for actively promoting unlicensed operators to Dutch customers.

It conducted 22 investigations as part of tougher enforcement action following the launch of its regulated online market in October this year.

After imposing orders subject to a penalty upon the affiliates, the KSA said several of the sites immediately discontinued marketing unlicensed operators, or switched to advertising the 11 licensed gambling companies in the market.

About the author

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Conor Mulheir

Conor entered the gaming industry in 2018 producing high-level live event content for audiences in London, Amsterdam and São Paulo. From 2020, he went on to report news and commission exclusive content for various gaming media brands before joining iGaming NEXT as editor in January 2022.

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