Belgian Gambling Commission Wants Limit on Gambling Advertising

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The Belgian Gambling Commission (BGC) has proposed six strict measures on gambling advertising amid government plans to tighten controls. It wants a limit on gambling ads, a ban on personalised ads targeted at certain groups of players and more power to act quickly when rules are broken.

The regulator said the government should “determine the volume of permitted advertising” but did not suggest a volume itself.

It said that it would like to see general restrictions on who can be targeted by gambling ads, but it particularly wants a ban on targeting personalised ads at young people, excluded players and players who have not gambled for a long time.

It didn’t suggest what age limit would apply for the first of those, or how long would need to elapse for players to qualify as not having played for a long time.

The BGC also called for a requirement to allow all players to opt out of receiving personalised ads. It also wants warning messages to be required for all gambling ads and a ban on advertising in public places like billboards in train stations.

It also requested the power to act quickly when rules are broken and greater flexibility to enforce rules.

It said: “Experience has shown that an exhaustive enumeration of prohibitions relating to the content of advertising, as currently contained in the Royal Decree of 2018, is not sufficient to prevent abuses and excesses, and that certain rules quickly become obsolete and cannot be maintained.

“Guidelines would have the advantage of being ‘future proof’ and evolutionary in order to better reflect the reality and changes on the ground. This would also strengthen the role of the Gambling Commission as regulator.”

It added: “Conducting a lengthy sanctions procedure, as is currently the case, is of no use in the context of an advertising campaign that is short-lived by nature.”

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