Belgium becomes the latest European jurisdiction to serve industry leadership more headaches, confirming that it will move ahead with its planned decree to implement a stringent advertising code on gambling/betting verticals.
Directives for a tougher advertising framework on online gambling and betting services have been under review by Belgium’s Parliament since October 2017, when CDV (Christian Democrats) Justice Minister Koen Geens won cross-party support to forward the mandate.
In its November update, the Belgian government confirmed that it would move to install a number of CDV’s directives, including implementing a complete ban on online casino TV advertising.
The TV advertising ban is supported by a tougher digital advertising framework for online casino operators, who will be restricted to promoting services on government approved websites, with a limited scope on messaging.
As anticipated, the Belgian government will further impose an 8 pm TV watershed on sports betting advertising, with no marketing coverage allowed during live sports broadcasts.
Further sports betting restrictions see the government support a ban on celebrity or athlete endorsements of gambling products/services.
Since 2011, Belgium has operated its online gambling/betting regulatory policy under the directives of its revamped ‘Belgian Gaming Act’, a mandate challenged by online incumbents stating that the government has placed number of provisions favouring established land-based operators, which have led to restrictive market conditions.