Government officials in Belgium have reportedly confirmed that they will be implementing a more stringent code concerning the advertising of all online gambling and sportsbetting-related products in the nation of 11.4 million people from later this month.
A year in the making:
According to reports from SBCNews and Casino Players Report, the revamped rules have been over a year in the making and were approved by parliamentarians in Brussels late last month after the small nation’s Justice Minister, Koen Geens (pictured) from the center-right Christian Democratic and Flemish political party, won cross-bench support for tougher regulation.
The coming directives will reportedly prohibit the advertising of all online casinos to Belgians via television while also limiting the legal promotion of such services solely to government-approved websites.
The new rules are to also prohibit the endorsement of iGaming services by celebrities or athletes, mandate that any such advertisements come complete with a problem gambling warning and ban operators from utilizing platforms or media regularly consumed by minors.
Furthermore, the future regulations are to drop the maximum bonus that sites are to be allowed to offer players every month to approximately $308 while banning credit card deposits. To make matters worse for iGaming firms, the coming policies will additionally purportedly institute a weekly individual player deposit cap set at about $560.
Sportsbetting not immune:
In terms of sportsbetting, the future regulations will impose an 8pm television advertising watershed and forbid such services from be promoted during the broadcast of live sporting events.
Claims of land-based bias:
The Belgian Gaming Commission has regulated the local promotion of online gaming and sportsbetting products since 2011 and it has regularly been the subject of criticism from the iGaming industry amid allegations that its rules give an unfair advantage to more established land-based operators.