Dutch Regulator Censors State Lottery

The Dutch Gambling Authority has ordered the State Lottery operator to stop using their country’s Euro 2020 players in their advertising campaigns. The KSA has issued a “cease and desist” order on Staatsloterij.

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KSA Tells Staatsloterij to Stop © Pixabay.

The Netherlands regulator, The Dutch Gambling Authority, has ordered the Dutch State Lottery to stop using imagery of the country’s Euro 2020 squad.

Issuing a “cease and desist” order, the KSA prohibited the Staatsloterij from using pictures of the team.

KSA investigators assessed an advert released from the Dutch State Lottery, which featured players from the top-flight Dutch league Eredivisie. Also featured were some of the squad members of the Netherlands Euro 2020 team. In addition, the advert featured on several Dutch football team’s websites and other social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.

Under current rules for Dutch operators, including the Dutch State Lottery, licence holders are prohibited from using professional athletes to gain new customers.

The rules are rather confusing as, under Dutch law, sponsorship of professional athletes is not against the rules. However, some rules have been brought into place that aims to reduce young people’s exposure to gambling. They also wish to protect other vulnerable groups, such as those at risk of gambling addiction.

The guidance states that “role models” and professional athletes should not participate in advertising if their fan base is under-25 or they themselves are under 25.

Although the Netherlands are out of the competition, a 2-0 loss against the Czech Republic ended their Euro 2020 hopes; it would have been a reasonable expectation for the state operator to continue using the promotional material long after the tournament had finished.

This action prevents the operator from doing so. However, although they have complied, they called the verdict “disproportionately burdensome”. They expressed the opinion that the only reason it had agreed to comply was an understanding that a severe financial penalty would be imposed if it didn’t.

The KSA made the judgement to go public with its decision, stating that the public health of the Dutch public was more important than any confidentiality granted to the Dutch State Lottery.

In a statement, the KSA said: “The State Lottery as licence holder must always comply with legislation and regulations,”

“That it has only after the imposition of an order subject to periodic penalty payments adjusted its working method is therefore not a valid reason for the KSA to refrain from publication.”

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