New gambling restrictions in Belgium have operators worried that the new regulations regarding advertisements will push punters to play with unlicensed and illegal operators and betting sites.
The new gambling advertising laws were pending for a year before they were approved by the parliament. Justice Minister Koen Geens pushed the parliament for approval with the announcement that the new regulations were going to be implemented this month.
Included in the new regulations are banning any and all online casino television advertisements. All gambling adverts must include a warning for problem gambling and a stricter advertising framework for operators that will require them to only advertise on approved websites that are okayed by the government and must include restricted messages within their advert.
The sports betting sector of the industry are included in the advert restrictions. All advertising is on the 8pm TV watershed meaning no advertising is allowed during any live sports broadcasts and there will most likely be a ban on all athlete and celebrity endorsements that are connected with gambling services and products.
The industry insists that with the changes Belgium is making to the online industry government officials are favoring the land-based sector with employing new restrictions such as the gambling advert changes.