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NOGA says ad ban is ‘irresponsible’ and will drive players to black market

The Netherlands Online Gambling Association (NOGA) is urging the country’s Ministry of Justice and Security to reconsider its decision to ban online gambling advertising. This call comes as the ministry prepares to evaluate the Online Gambling Act at the end of the year.

In a blog post, NOGA wrote:

It is thoughtless and irresponsible that a majority in the House of Representatives is supporting the motion to ban online advertising for online gambling. NOGA, the Dutch trade association of online gambling providers, is making an urgent appeal to Minister Weerwind for Legal Protection not to make irreversible decisions NOW. NOGA director Peter-Paul de Goeij: “The House is trying to force a decision based on wrong figures, assumptions and unrealistic fears.”

At the end of this year, the Ministry of Justice and Security will evaluate the online gambling law.

“There really is not enough hard data to make wise decisions at this moment, which is why extensive research is now being done. Let’s wait for those results and then have a substantive discussion and make decisions that best protect online players against problem gambling and gambling addiction.”

NOGA emphasizes that players will no longer know whether they are playing at a legal provider or an illegal casino due to a ban on online advertising. And those illegal, often criminal casinos offer players no protection against gambling addiction.

The goal of the legalization of online gambling was and is precisely that players can try their luck in a safe and responsible online environment. At companies with a license where the protection of all players is the highest priority.

A majority in the House of Representatives is taking a risky gamble with the online players who are now consciously choosing the legal offer

Now 90% of all players in our country play at the legal gambling providers. There are already signs that due to the previously imposed advertising ban on radio, TV, newspapers and outdoors, gamblers are disappearing into the illegal circuit. “A majority in the House of Representatives is taking a risky gamble with the online players who are now consciously choosing the legal offer. If we later find that the political world has made the wrong decisions too hastily, the House is responsible for the negative consequences,” says NOGA director De Goeij.

Minister Weerwind for Legal Protection will soon inform the House of Representatives whether and how he will implement the adopted motions. Including motions on a ban on high-risk gambling, an emergency law to take measures even before the evaluation of the Online Gambling Act, and the online advertising ban.

NOGA emphatically points out that the minister has advised against these three motions. Peter-Paul de Goeij: “Minister Weerwind has kept his cool so far. We count on the demissionary cabinet and the cabinet to be formed continuing this wise line and never jeopardizing the protection of online players.”

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