In 2019 some things will change for the gambling industry. As of June 1, there will be a ban on advertising for games of chance and online games of chance on television. This applies to live broadcasts of sport matches. There will also be a maximum of one gambling advertisement per advertisement block.
Ban on gambling advertisements
Later this year, people will only see gambling advertisements on television in the evening. Gambling commercials are strictly forbidden during a live broadcast or around a sports game. Online casinos and gambling halls have to deal with this new rule. As of June 1, 2019 online casinos and online gaming halls will only be allowed to advertise on their own website, not on external websites.
Proposal of SP.a
The SP.a already submitted a proposal to ban sports betting advertisements on television and radio stations last summer. The Flemish Community agrees with this. In the past it has already imposed restrictions on advertising for alcoholic beverages. This was done initially through a covenant and later through a Media Decree.
Extension of decree
The SP.a wants to extend the decrees mentioned above to games of chance, in accordance with Article 2 of the Betting and Gaming Act of 7 May 1999. In Article 2 the definition of a game of chance can be found. This includes all games of chance, both land-based and online and slot machines, dice games, dice slots, table games and (sports) betting.
No scratch cards
The proposal of SP.a would be discussed on December 6, but it was postponed. Flemish MP Imade Annouri reports on his Twitter that postponement has taken place in the hope of broad support for the proposal. Interesting to note is that the scratch cards of the National Lottery will not be discussed yet. These games are especially popular among young people, even minors, who are quite vulnerable when it comes to gambling. Several studies on scratch cards have showed the addictive side of these kind of games.
More restrictions to come
There are probably more restrictions to come regarding gambling advertisements. In the newspaper Nieuwsblad the gaming commission already hinted at further measures. For example, director of the gaming commission Peter Naessens, wondered how long it will be before there is talk of a ban on shirt advertising and sponsorship in the stadiums. The Jupiler Pro League is sponsored by Unibet. Pro League supports an advertising ban for gambling companies on the public channels.
Impact of shirt and stadium advertising prohibition
A prohibition of shirt and stadium advertising would have a major impact on Belgian football. Only two clubs in the First Division are not sponsored by a gambling company, namely Cercle Brugge and Eupen. They do do not receive sponsorship money from the gambling industry. These Belgian teams do:
• Genk, Zulte-Waregem and KV Oostende – Betfirst
• Club Bruges – Unibet
• Anderlecht – Betway
• Charleroi and Lokeren – Casino Belgium
• Standard and Waasland-Beveren from Circus
• Antwerp and Mouscron – StarCasino
• Sint-Truiden – Golden Palace
• KV Kortrijk – 36 Win