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Legislation News of the Week: Belgium to Ban Gambling Ads by the End of 2022, Germany Hands Out… 

Belgian minister proposes blanket ban on gambling ads

Belgium plans to ban nearly all gambling advertising by the end of 2022. All sports sponsorships will be dissolved by the end of 2024. The new royal decree was proposed by Federal Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne.

Van Quickenborne believes that gambling is the new smoking, and all advertising of games of chance should be outlawed. The minister argues that over 100k Belgians show signs of problem gambling, and ads only encourage gambling addiction among youngsters and other people.

If the new decree comes into force, all gambling operators and providers will no longer be allowed to promote their services on TV, radio, social networks, in newspapers, on posters on the street, and via personalized emails and texts. And by the end of 2024, the Belgian sports clubs will be forced to drop all betting sponsorships. The only exception to the ban will be the National Lottery.

The Belgian Association of Gaming Operators (BAGO) heavily criticized the proposal, saying it would only encourage illegal gambling. The blanket ban on gambling ads would also cause difficulties in distinguishing licensed and unlicensed gambling ops and, thus, give black market companies an advantage. BAGO also stated that the National Lottery accounts for 40% of all gambling ads, so it would be unfair to exempt it from the ban.

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