As the Netherlands welcomes the first licensed operators of the KOA online gambling regime, an effective responsible gambling and commercial approach are viewed as imperative for the sustainability of the newly regulated marketplace.  

Betting on Sports Europe at Stamford Bridge (BOSE) hosted an on-the-ground discussion between Arno de Jong, CMO at Nederlands Loterij and Peter-Paul de Goeij, Managing Director at  Netherlands Online Gambling Association (NOGA), as they discussed the vital next steps for the sector. 

Highlighting the importance of a regulated approach, de Goeij stated: “There is a risk currently in the Dutch market that we have been flagging with the other trade associations, that Dutch consumers are not inundated with gambling advertising. 

“Currently, the market is open. There is advertising for gambling and what we see in Parliament is a concern and members of parliament are starting to complain and ask questions to the Minister, with some MPs even hellbent on banning advertising for online gambling, which would really be a disaster. 

“There is currently a code, which is being drafted as we speak, it has already been adopted by the Dutch advertising body and this code is really good and NOGA believes in self-regulation so we are fully behind the code. But, we do think in some aspects the code should go further than it’s currently drafted. 

“what we are pleading for is to have a trans-industry agreement between all gambling operators, whether it is lottery, casino or online betting, as well as the media and online broadcasters, so we could agree on the total volume that the Dutch market can sustain – because that is what it’s all about in the end, to keep advertising sustainable.” 

Nederlandse Loterij’s De jong followed this up by delving into deeper detail about the code, as he stated: “Self-regulation only works if we all adopt and if you look at the code, on top of the regulatory system in place, for example, we are allowed to advertise between nine in the evening and six in the morning, but if you now put on the television it is full of gaming advertising.”

He continued by outlining the importance of the media when it comes to limiting gambling advertising, describing it as ‘the biggest job to do’ when it comes to sustainable marketing. 

“We need to let them see that it is also in their interest, before there will be stricter regulation, not in terms of self-regulation, but in terms of a body that decides this for us”, he emphasised as he underlined the crucial nature of a collaborative approach with the media.  

To conclude, de Goeij commented on the availability of payment methods and mapped out his belief that as long as it is safe, there is no need to be restrictive when it comes to innovations on the user journey. However, he underlined the point that the industry needs to be careful as there simply isn’t room for any errors, which would be disastrous for the tentatively growing market.