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New law in the Netherlands bans untargeted advertising for online gambling


a picture of a building with a dutch flag and two dices

The Dutch online gambling sector has been legalized since October 1st, 2021 by the Act on Distance Betting and Gambling. However, this gambling law has now evolved significantly with the introduction of a new ban on untargeted online gambling advertising that came into effect on July 1, 2023 . This means that advertising for games of chance on the Internet and on TV-on-demand is only permitted under strict conditions. The government in the Netherlands has taken decisive action to protect vulnerable people, especially young people, from the potential risks of online gambling.

It is important for companies offering online gambling platforms to understand the new regulations and adjust their online privacy practices accordingly. Read on to learn how to do it.

Background on online gambling law in the Netherlands

Minister Weerwind says:

“Advertising is necessary to communicate the legal offer of online games of chance, to prevent people from playing illegally. At the same time, we, as the government, have a duty to protect vulnerable groups against the risks of online games of chance.”

In other words: Advertising is necessary to communicate the legality of online gambling and to discourage people from gambling illegally. At the same time, as a government, we have a duty to protect vulnerable groups from the risks of online gambling.

Source: https://www.government.nl/latest/news/2023/04/19/minister-weerwind-bans-untargeted-advertising-for-online-games-of-chance

The popularity of online gambling has increased a lot in the Netherlands. A balance must therefore be struck between promoting legal gambling opportunities and protecting vulnerable individuals. The ban on untargeted advertising addresses existing challenges and concerns about advertising practices in the industry.

As part of this ban, it is important to know that under strict conditions, the following will continue to be allowed:

  • Advertising via the Internet, e.g. in social media,
  • targeted advertising
  • direct mail and
  • Advertising via TV-on-Demand remains permitted under strict conditions.

Since the above forms of advertising are still permitted, certain rules must be followed in order for companies to be able to use these formats.

Under what conditions is advertising allowed for online gambling?

With this ban, the Dutch government wants to limit the temptation of consumers to take part in high-risk gambling. The Dutch ban on untargeted online gambling advertising therefore has a significant impact on the advertising strategies of companies in this sector. Well, however, the advertisers can still market their services as usual if they meet the three conditions below. The aim is to reduce the exposure of young people and other vulnerable people to potentially harmful gambling advertising.

Advertising for online gambling is therefore not prohibited, but may only take place under the following three conditions :

  1. First, we must actively prevent advertising from reaching young people under the age of 24 or other vulnerable groups.
  2. Second, at least 95 percent of advertising must be shown to people over the age of 24.
  3. and finally, any person who is shown ads must be able to opt out and not see the ads.

How can companies comply with the regulations?

In order to comply with the Dutch government’s requirements for companies offering online gambling, proactive measures must be taken.

Below are some ways you can comply with this law, as well as examples of how customers using the consentmanager CMP have changed their online privacy practices to stay ahead of the curve. As we have been following this law since it was first announced, we have prepared a number of options for our existing customers, as shown in the examples below.

1. Actively prevent the reach of advertising

Actively prevent your advertising from reaching young people under the age of 24 or other vulnerable groups. This can be achieved in a number of ways. You can include age verification mechanisms in your cookie banner or in your website’s privacy policy.

Example: You can ask users to confirm their age by filling in a specific field in your cookie banner. Your banner could include the option to display “I’m 24 or over” or “I’m 23 or under” buttons.

With CMPs like consentmanager you can easily activate the age verification function in your cookie banner in your settings area.

Age verification feature Screenshot consentmanager dashboard

And if you want to try out your cookie banner with different designs and features, you can use our innovative staging feature to test your custom cookie banner before it goes live.

2. Address the right target group

At least 95 percent of advertising must be shown to people over the age of 24. To achieve this, you can use targeted advertising strategies. This means you need to tailor your ads to reach the desired audience using precise targeting parameters such as age, location and interests. Once you have done this, ensure that your consent management tool adapts to your specific targeting and displays the appropriate cookie banner or privacy notice for the appropriate age group.

3. Offer opt-out options

When your ads are shown, users must have an opt-out option. Make sure you offer users clear and easily accessible opt-out options via your cookie banner. By giving users the ability to opt-out of advertising, you show that you respect individual preferences and promote a user-centric advertising experience.

Example: An example of this would be if you have 3 buttons on your cookie banner e.g. a “Reject” button, an “Accept, I’m over 24” button, and an “Accept, I’m under 24” button.

Customize your CMP and worry no more!

This is only half the way – the next step is to make the necessary changes according to the legislation applicable to your business. However, as we have already advised our existing customers on the various ways they can comply with the new Dutch government regulation, you can count on us to take the guesswork out of you.

Get in touch with one of our experts and we’ll be happy to help, or create your own cookie banner now for free !


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