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Gambling ads have doubled in the Netherlands, research says

Gambling ads in the Netherlands have doubled since online casinos were legalised, according to research conducted by Nielsen.

gambling ads

Nielsen is an information, data and market measurement firm that operates in over 100 countries worldwide.

In October and November 2020, there were 170,066 gambling commercials in the country, while during the same period this year, there were 366,631.

The legalisation of online gambling is considered to be the main reason for the rise in gambling ads. Currently, 11 casinos have a licence to offer online gambling in the country.

Out of them, Holland Casino alone has spent €6.4m ($7.2m) on advertising for October and November 2021. Toto reported almost €4.6m spent on advertising during the same time period. Both gaming firms are owned by the Dutch state.

FairPlayCasino spent €3.3m, BataviaCasino paid €3.2m euros and Tombola spent €2.6m for advertising for the same two months.

Gambling sports can only appear on television during specific times of the day to prevent young people from being exposed to gambling messages. However, according to Nielsen, 88% of gambling advertisements appear on websites, including social media platforms, which are not as regulated on TV ads.

The Tweede Kamer (House of Representatives) wants to ban gambling ads on the internet before 9pm. The Minister of Legal Protection, Sander Dekker, said he would consider the idea, but he argued such a ban would come “too early.”

Netherlands’ MPs and experts in the field are concerned about the impact gambling can have on the social norm, as Health Psychologist Arie Dijkstra, said: "As an individual, I get to see a gambling commercial, but I also know others see the same advertisements. Combined with legalisation, it leads to a change in social norms. It will definitely lead to a rise in addiction.”

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