The Belgian government has announced that gambling advertising will be banned in the country from 1 July this year.
The date was made official following its publication in the Belgium’s Official Gazette.
The ban covers all forms of advertising from gambling organisations, both land-based and online, with the only exception being the country’s National Lottery.
Vincent Van Quickenborne, justice minister of Belgium praised the confirmation of a date.
“With the publication in the Belgian Official Gazette, the decision is now clear: gambling advertising will be seriously restricted from 1 July 2023,” he said “This is necessary because the normalisation and banalisation of gambling must finally stop.”
“The strict rules will have an immediate impact. A transition period is provided for the sports sector so that the sector can adapt to the new reality.”
Sports advertising in stadiums will be banned on 1 January 2025, and gambling operators will not be allowed to sponsor sports teams from 1 January 2028.
The ban was first announced on 10 May, and received widespread criticism in the subsequent months.
Dutch minister for legal protection Franc Weerwind criticised the ban in June, calling for more a more regulated gambling environment as opposed to an outright prohibition.
The Belgian National Lottery disputed allegations that it had unfairly influenced ministers to support the ban.
Weeks before the ban was announced, the Belgian Gambling Commission – Kansspelcommissie – called for a limit on gambling advertising in the country.
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