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KSA chair René Jansen has called upon the Netherlands’ gambling sector to moderate its levels of advertising around the upcoming World Cup.

In a letter sent to all Dutch licensees, Jansen highlighted recent appeals made by the country’s minister for legal protection Franc Weerwind, requesting gambling operators moderate their advertising around the tournament, which kicks off in Qatar this November.

Weerwind has already been instrumental in introducing wide-ranging restrictions on the country’s gambling sector since the launch of its regulated market last year, including a ban on the use of ‘role models’ in advertising and the upcoming prohibition of all untargeted advertising.

The introduction of the ban on untargeted ads was recently postponed, after originally being planned to take effect from 1 January 2023. Instead, it is now expected to come into effect several months later.

KSA chair Jansen said that although he understands the World Cup is “an excellent opportunity to draw attention to the range of sports betting” available in the country, he hopes operators will not make “the same mistake” they did following the opening of the market last October.

KSA chairman René Jansen: “A new tidal wave of advertising would mean an extra blow to the image of the sector and perhaps the prelude to even more far-reaching regulation of what is allowed in the field of advertising. I’d say don’t let it get to that point!”

Following the market’s launch in October 2021, Jansen said: “The bombardment of advertising caused so much annoyance that Minister Franc Weerwind (gambling policy) was forced to intervene, partly at the urging of the House of Representatives.

“I just hope that the underlying message has got through to the gambling providers. That is: there is a limit to what society accepts. This was clearly exceeded by the sector after the opening of the legal online gambling market. 

“The industry as a whole and individual gambling companies individually have not excelled in displaying well-considered behaviour. 

“Earning money quickly and gaining additional market share should not be considered more important than carefully and jointly building a sector where consumers can enjoy recreational and controlled participation in games of chance in a safe environment.”

Concluding his renewed call to Dutch-licensed operators, Jansen said: “A new tidal wave of advertising would mean an extra blow to the image of the sector and perhaps the prelude to even more far-reaching regulation of what is allowed in the field of advertising. I’d say don’t let it get to that point!”