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Gambling Advertisements Will No Longer Be Allowed In Belgium From July

Belgium has imposed a strict new restriction on gambling marketing to combat gambling addiction and debt. The measure will begin to take effect on July 1st, 2023.

Gambling Advertisements Will No Longer Be Allowed In Belgium From July
Gambling Advertisements Will No Longer Be Allowed In Belgium From July

According to a survey conducted by TGM Sports Betting between October 2021 and October 2022, an estimated 23.71% of Belgians bet on sports.

Vincent van Quickenborne, minister of justice for Belgium, praised the decision and said, "the measure is necessary because it must to put an end to the trivialisation and normalization of gambling."

The restriction will apply to all platforms, including public signage, social media, and TV commercials. The idea will also control gambling corporations' sponsorships of sports teams.

"Nevertheless, a transition period is planned for the sports sector to allow it to adapt to the new reality. We did it well at the time for tobacco advertising, and it worked", declared Quickenborne, who had to go into hiding after receiving threats from drug traffickers last year. The new law forbids gambling advertisements in stadiums beginning in January 2025 and in professional sports clubs starting in January 2028.

In contrast, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) claimed, "outright bans are not the answer."

"Without advertising, there is no real way for Belgians to tell the difference between a gambling website which is safe - because it is licensed and applies the consumer protection rules in Belgium - and one that is not", EGBA Secretary General Maarten Haijer spoke with Euronews.

"Under the law, lottery products will continue to be advertised, which will directly benefit the state-owned lottery provider over other Belgian licensed providers."

The gaming industry in Europe generated a gross income of €108,5 billion in 2022. The EGBA estimates this is an 8% rise over pre-pandemic 2019 gambling levels.

Tax regulations will also be tightened because gaming companies can no longer deduct sponsorship costs. 

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iGaming News • Belgium