Dutch Lawmakers Vote to Ban High-Risk Online Gambling and Advertising

In a decisive move, the Netherlands House of Representatives has passed a vote to outlaw advertisements for online gambling and restrict 'high-risk' digital gambling activities, including online slots.

Dutch Lawmakers Vote to Ban High-Risk Online Gambling and Advertising

The legislation session, held on Tuesday, saw a majority approval with lawmakers pushing forward 114 motions, with 14 of these pertaining to gambling reforms—10 of which were subsequently accepted.

The key motion to eliminate online gambling advertisements encompassed the ban on “online gambling activities with a proven extremely high risk,” prominently highlighting online slots as a prime example.

According to local reports from Casino Nieuws, the rationale behind this significant decision stems from the uncontrollable nature of the game outcomes, which puts players at a disadvantage.

Supported by a robust majority of 79 votes, the proposal was initially brought forward by Derk Boswijk of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and was upheld by fellow members including Diederik van Dijk, Nicolien van Vroonhoven, Michiel van Nispen, and Mirjam Bikker.

This regulatory shift must now be formally drafted into law and receive endorsement from the Minister for Legal Protection to take full effect.

Further regulatory adjustments are also on the horizon for the Dutch gambling industry, as the Parliament endorsed a policy in February to set fixed cross-operator deposit limits and launched a consultation to review enhancements in player protection measures.

Furthermore, MP Mirjam Bikker spearheaded a motion for implementing ‘overarching playing limits’, necessitating changes to the decree and possibly the law. The framework for these limits is slated for release at year’s end.

This trend of tightening gambling regulations is mirrored across other European countries. Belgium, for instance, has recently escalated the legal gambling age from 18 to 21, approved by the Chamber of Deputies.

Meanwhile, in the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has issued warnings to gambling firms to refrain from targeting minors in their advertisements, especially in the lead-up to the Euro 2024 tournament commencing June 14.