At long last: a ban on advertising for the gambling industry

19 April 2023

At long last: a ban on advertising for the gambling industry

Foto: SP

As of 1 july, a blanket ban will be imposed on, among other things, gambling ads on television, radio and on the sponsorship of sports clubs and TV programmes. It took years of parliamentary questions, debates and proposals by the SP. Member of Parliament Michiel van Nispen led the way in advocating for the ban.

The gambling industry was able to become huge very quickly over the past few years because the government relaxed the rules on gambling. In no time, the Netherlands was awash with gambling ads in bus shelters and on television.

Today, we are striking a blow against the interests of big money. They make their earnings from people's addictions through their advertisements. It is immoral.  What's more, these intrusive ads are also very irritating to a lot of people. It has taken far too long and it should never have come this far, but this ban is finally on its way.

It took years before the cabinet also got on board and wanted to introduce a strict ban. At first, the gambling industry itself had to make agreements among themselves to cut down on advertising.  The SP was always against this, as the financial interests for this industry are far too large and the damage to society too severe for this to be left to the companies themselves.  

You cannot expect that these ultra-capitalist companies will voluntarily give up their ill-gotten gains.  Which is why we have pushed so hard for a clear and firm ban on these gambling ads.

The SP does have one reservation about the cabinet's plans: Sponsorship of sports will be allowed to continue until mid-2025. So until that time, heroes of the youth are simply allowed to carry on wandering around the pitch as walking billboards for this addictive pastime.

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