SiGMA Advertising Panel: European Gaming Lawyers Frustrated With Ad Restrictions

  • Gaming lawyers shared their frustrations during an advertising panel at SiGMA
  • A Netherlands lawyer said he expects the country could implement a blanket ad ban
  • Dr Hambach said ad limits are shrinking the legal German market, aiding illegal sites
Ban sign
A panel of lawyers at SiGMA expressed frustration at increased marketing restrictions in the Netherlands and Germany. [Image:]

Industry experts have had their say on the impact of gaming advertising restrictions in Europe during a SiGMA panel discussion this week in Malta.

Tuesday’s panel, named ‘The Ongoing Impact of Advertising Restrictions,’ featured representatives from law firms that work with gaming companies in the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark. All of them agreed that excessive advertising restrictions would only harm gaming customers by growing black market business.

It’s the worst of the worst.”

Justin Franssen, Partner at Kalff Katz & Franssen, shared his belief that the Netherlands regulation is headed in the same direction as Italy and Spain, where gambling ads are largely banned altogether. Detailing the regulatory hurdles facing operators in the country, he said: “It’s the worst of the worst. There are going to be more and more restrictions and I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point we are faced with a complete ban.”

According to research conducted by La Gazzetta dello Sport, Italy’s black market revenue now amounts to €25bn ($26.47bn) per year. The country has seen a rapid spike in its illegal gambling that the European Gaming and Betting Association has blamed on its gambling ad ban, introduced in 2018.

Dr Wulf Hambach, Partner for Hambach & Hambach, echoed those sentiments in regard to Germany. He said that, while the nation has not implemented an advertising ban on gambling firms yet, there are a total of 25 marketing limitations that are making life very difficult for him and his clients. Hambach believes this has caused the legal market to shrink, benefiting illegal operators working in the black market.

In contrast, Denmark-based lawyer Nina Henningsen, Partner at Mazanti-Andersen, thinks her nation is currently handling the situation much better. She claims this is the result of a clear and open dialogue between the regulator and operators. Asked what other nations could do to prevent draconian laws, she responded: “It’s important that we bring objective data to our politicians regarding these issues.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *