Banning gambling advertisements in Belgium

There has already been some controversy about gambling advertisements and the amount of them. In Belgium, the government wants to ban just about all forms of gambling advertising.

Will this affect the Dutch market? We’ll tell you in this article. The Belgian Minister of Jusitie Van Quickenborne calls online gambling “the new smoking”. He says everyone agrees that tobacco advertisements are better off not being there anymore. So too for gambling, Van QuickenBorne thinks.

Corona and online gambling

The corona pandemic has caused more people to gamble online. This is an increase of 43% among young people. Based on an international study, it appears that about 40% of the profits of gambling companies come from people with a gambling addiction.

Are you at risk of a gambling addiction? Or do you suspect you have a gambling addiction? Then read our article on responsible gaming with tips here.


The majority of gambling advertisements will disappear if the plan is approved. By the end of this year, Belgian gaming companies will no longer be allowed to advertise on TV, radio, in newspapers or via social media.

But, there are some exceptions. Companies will still be allowed to advertise about gambling on their own website or within an online casino. When people search online specifically for “gambling related” websites, they may still see ads.

Gambling companies that sponsor sports clubs are subject to a transitional arrangement. This means that until 2025 only names and/or logos of the companies may be printed on the shirts or be seen in the stadium.

What does this mean for the Dutch market?

Gambling advertisements are already under fire in the Netherlands. Advertisements related to online gambling have increased tremendously since the online gambling market in the Netherlands was legalized last October (2021). Addiction experts fear that gambling will be over-promoted and more people will become addicted to it. Also because big names are used for the advertising of gambling games, such as Andy van der Meijde and Wesley Sneijder.

The House of Representatives is working on a ban on “untargeted advertising” for high-risk games of chance. An example of unfocused advertising is a billboard along the highway. The intention is to make advertising so that it is only visible to the ‘older’ target group (24+ years). Through social media it is possible to set these restrictions.

There are already restrictions on advertising gambling. This is for example not showing advertisements on TV before 22.00h. In June, Minister Weerwind for Legal Protection wants to ban the use of role models. This means that from June you will not see Andy van der Meijde on screen very often. Better yet, never see you on screen at commercials again.

What is gambling costing you? Stop in time. 18+

Do you recognize any of these symptoms? Then consult a counseling agency to prevent a gambling addiction: