Ban on advertisements for games of chance: private operators “outraged” by the limitation

The Minister of Justice, Vincent Van Quickenborne, attacks the addiction to gambling, by targeting the advertising of these. A proposal that caused a reaction in the sports world, politics and private operators.

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LPrivate operators denounce the announced limitation of advertising for games of chance, announced on Monday in a press release, the Belgian association of gaming operators (BAGO), a professional union which brings together five large companies in the private sector of games of chance in Belgium. .

The proposal of the Minister of Justice, Vincent Van Quickenborne (Open Vld), to strongly restrict advertising for games of chance found a favorable echo on Monday among the majority of the parties of the Vivaldi coalition, with the notable exception of the MR, whose president, Georges-Louis Bouchez, said he was “totally opposed”. Football’s Pro League meanwhile said it feared a reduction in sponsorship revenue for professional clubs.

Private operators are “scandalized”

Private operators of legal gambling say they are “scandalized by the drastic ban on advertising for legal gambling, announced by the Minister of Justice”.

According to officials of the BAGO association, “this measure will not benefit the consumer, on the contrary”. They believe that, in the absence of advertising for authorized games, the consumer will no longer be able to distinguish between legal and illegal offers. As a result, customers would be more and more likely to visit (internet) sites that offer no guarantee in terms of player protection.

“Advertising is necessary”

“Advertising is necessary in order to guide consumers towards legal, controlled and safe gambling”, specifies the press release from the association, according to which the ban on advertising would lead to abuses, “as in Italy where we have observed a growth of the illegal sector of up to 50% from 2019 to 2021”.

The BAGO association also says it regrets, from the head of the federal government, a total lack of consultation in the sector, the ignorance of the opinion of the Gaming Commission or the exception to the ban granted to the National Lottery, “by far the biggest advertiser”.

Private operators suggest the development of a general legal framework to impose the duty of supervision on the entire sector.

“More and more legal operators are deploying algorithms and artificial intelligence to quickly identify emerging problematic gambling behaviors and offer players solutions, including advising them to register on the gambling list. exclusion of EPIS. If we want to fight effectively against addiction to gambling, this is the way to go,” concludes Tom De Clercq, President of BAGO.

BAGO represents the companies Ardent Group, BetFIRST, Golden Palace Group, Napoleon Games&Casino, as well as Kindred.

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Ban on advertisements for games of chance: private operators “outraged” by the limitation

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