Gambling Ads in Belgium Hit With New Regulations
Many European countries are implementing new regulations on their online gambling industries. This week, it’s being announced that gambling ads in Belgium are facing a number of new restrictions. Online gambling advertisement bans are becoming more and more common across Europe.
Today, we’re going to look at why Belgian lawmakers are implementing these new laws. We’ll also discuss how these restrictions will affect Belgium’s online gaming market. There’s a lot of information to unpack, so let’s get into it.
Evolution of Online Gambling Laws in Belgium
Gambling has taken place in Belgium for centuries. Up until 2011, however, there were no laws that regulated the country’s online gambling market. That year, lawmakers in the country passed the Belgian Gambling Act. This allows foreign gaming companies to legally operate in Belgium after obtaining a license from the government.
Belgium’s gambling laws differed from many other countries. In order for gaming operators to legally operate here, they must also obtain a license for a land-based gaming establishment. This limits the number of online gambling companies that operate inside the country.
Despite the relatively small number of regulated online gambling sites that operate here, internet gambling in Belgium continues to grow. Sports betting, in particular, has grown exponentially here over the past few years. Football gambling revenue increases every year.
The rise in online gambling here has also led to a rise in gambling addiction. Lawmakers are now working to change this. Gambling ads in Belgium are facing new regulations. Let’s take a look at what these new laws are calling for.
New Restrictions on Gambling Ads in Belgium, Explained
The fact that Belgium is implementing new gaming restrictions is no surprise. Back in February, the UK announced a completely new set of gambling advertising laws. That same month, Sweden began implementing similar measures for online gambling ads.
It comes in response to growing problem gambling rates. Limiting the amount of marketing that online betting companies offer is proven to be effective in lowering gambling addiction rates.
Starting on June 1st, online casino companies in Belgium can no longer advertise on television. Online sports betting operators here can only feature ads on television after 8pm. These online sportsbooks also cannot promote their services during live sporting events.
“This ban is a step forward for the limitation of advertising for games of chance,”
Belgian Gaming Commission President Etienne Marique recently told the media. The ban on gambling ads in Belgium isn’t popular with everyone, though.
What Does This Mean for Belgium’s Online Gambling Industry?
The effects of heavier marketing regulations on the gambling industry are not entirely known. As we mentioned earlier, a number of countries have recently implemented heavy restrictions on gambling ads. The UK has been punishing companies caught breaking the new ad laws set in place.
The fear is that a ban on gambling ads will force some online gambling operators to leave the market. Advertising makes up the majority of most gaming companies’ budget. If these companies are no longer able to promote their services, their ability to attract new players will be limited.
Lowering gambling addiction rates is the goal. With that in mind, a ban on gambling advertisements in Belgium will almost certainly be effective. Many can agree there are pros and cons to these new laws.
The hope is that gaming companies here are still able to retain a user base. In the past, we’ve seen gaming operators choose to leave a regulated gaming market and still operate in the country with a license to do so. Belgium’s Gaming Commission will need to decide how to deal with these issues.
Do you think the new gambling market ban will be effective? How will this affect the country’s online gambling industry? Let us know in the comments section below!
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