13.03.2024

by Kajetan Sawicz

KSA Halts Football Club’s Celebration Over Advertising Concerns

Dutch gambling authority, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has intervened to prevent a football club’s planned celebration involving a large-scale advertisement. The issue arose from the club’s intention to feature its captain on a city building, a move that KSA identified as a violation of the Netherlands’ strict ban on gambling advertisements.

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Regulatory Oversight in Action

The KSA’s decision highlights the regulatory body’s commitment to upholding the nation’s gambling advertisement ban, particularly noting the involvement of the football club’s iGaming sponsor. The regulator’s stance is clear: the presence of the sponsor’s logo on the team’s shirt within the advertisement could potentially breach untargeted gambling advertising prohibitions.

Despite arguments from the sponsor and the team suggesting that the advertisement falls under sports sponsorship, with the branding being a minor detail, KSA maintains that such a defense is only valid in professional contexts. This includes scenarios where the player is engaged in official duties, such as being depicted on the pitch during a match. The planned advertisement’s format, according to KSA, could also infringe upon regulations that prohibit the use of role models in gambling advertisements.

Implications for Public Advertising

KSA’s enforcement action brings to light the broader implications of online gambling advertisements in public spaces. Such forms of advertising, according to the regulator, are challenging to control in terms of audience exposure, particularly in shielding vulnerable groups like young adults from gambling-related content.

In related news, Michel Groothuizen is set to take over as the chairman of KSA starting July 1, succeeding René Jansen. Groothuizen’s extensive background in the Dutch judicial system and his involvement in the creation of KSA and the development of the regulated online gambling market legislation spotlight the continuity of experienced leadership within the regulatory body.

Our Comment on the Article

The KSA’s proactive measures in halting the football club’s planned advertisement underscore the delicate balance between sports sponsorship and gambling advertisement regulations. This incident reflects the broader challenges faced by sports entities and sponsors in navigating the complex regulatory landscape governing gambling advertisements. As the industry evolves, the role of regulatory bodies like KSA in ensuring responsible advertising practices remains pivotal in safeguarding public interest and vulnerable groups from potential gambling harm.

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