An ad ban which was submitted to the European Commission by the Belgian government faces a further setback after complaints from Malta. The Belgian government wanted to put into a place a law which would ban all advertising of gambling activities aside from the National lottery.
The Belgian government was very thorough in its reasons for wanting to create such a ban.
“Gambling advertising is ubiquitous on television, radio, social media and the streets. Such advertising is not without danger to public health and society. Advertising normalises gambling in society. Through advertising, gambling is presented as socially and culturally acceptable behaviour and as a legitimate leisure activity. This is detrimental to more vulnerable groups such as minors, young people and gambling addicts.
In the absence of a rule at European Union level, member states are free to lay down the rules in this area. With a view to improving player protection, the purpose of this decree is therefore to limit the forms of advertising permitted in the field of gambling and betting and to impose rules on the content of such advertising.”
Malta which is known for its strong links and contributions to the iGaming industry, has requested to delay the ad ban being put into place. The effects of such a ban could be detrimental to the country’s industry and economy so it is likely that we will see further challenges to the proposed laws. The question remains as to whether other nations of Europe will have the same opposition to such a ban. The delay will be mean any movement on the laws is pushed back until at least 9th September this year.