The government in Belgium has announced a ban on most forms of gambling advertising starting July 1. The goal of the ban is to reduce the levels of gambling addiction and debt in the country.
the tsunami of gambling advertising is an additional problem”
Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne issued a statement on Wednesday regarding the planned changes, saying: “….for those who want to get rid of their gambling addiction, the tsunami of gambling advertising is an additional problem.” The government considered scientific research that shows links between gambling advertising and increased levels of addiction and debt.
Beginning on July 1, gambling ads cannot appear on television and radio, or in magazines, cinemas, newspapers, and public areas. Promoting gambling on social media and websites will also no longer be permitted. Gambling companies will no longer be able to deduct sponsorship expenses from their taxes.
Additional restrictions on ads appearing in sports stadiums and gambling companies sponsoring sports teams are also on the horizon. The stadium ban will come into place on January 1, 2025 and the sponsorship ban will kick in on January 1, 2028. The Belgian government is allowing sports teams to respect their current contracts with operators.