As of 1 July 2023, online gambling providers are prohibited from untargeted advertising of their services. The ban should better protect vulnerable groups, including young people, from the risk of gambling addiction. CDDN can help online gambling providers to continue promoting their services legally.
Since 1 October 2021, online gambling has been regulated and therefore legal under the Remote Gambling Act. The opening of this new market led to a large increase in ‘untargeted’ advertising for online gambling. As a result, vulnerable groups were unintentionally exposed to a lot of advertising for this high-risk product. In order to protect these groups and young people in particular, Minister for Legal Protection Franc Weerwind already banned the use of role models in advertising for high-risk gambling from 30 June 2022. To further ensure that protection, a broader ban is now being imposed, namely on untargeted advertising for online gambling.
The advertising banned since 1 July covers radio and TV commercials and street billboards. Sponsorship for online gambling, for example involving TV programmes or sports clubs, will also be subject to the ban after a transitional period.
Internet advertising, such as social media, targeted ads, direct mailing and TV on demand, will continue to be allowed under strict conditions. Gambling providers must actively prevent advertising from reaching young people under the age of 24 or other vulnerable groups. In addition, it must be demonstrated that at least 95% of the advertising has reached people aged 24 or above. Where advertising is shown, people must be able to indicate that they do not want to see it.
The ban will have major consequences, both positive and negative. One of the main consequences is that online gambling providers have to adapt to new marketing strategies. Before, they were able to distribute advertisements widely, targeting as large an audience as possible. Now, however, they have to severely limit their advertising and use it in a more targeted way. This will lead to a shift from mass marketing to more specific targeting methods, such as approaching existing customers and using data analytics to identify potential gamblers. This change could make online gambling providers more efficient in their marketing strategies, but at the same time could lead to intensified competition to attract the attention of potential customers.
Other forms of marketing
Another consequence of the ban is that online gambling providers must invest more in other forms of marketing, such as content marketing and influencer marketing. By providing valuable and relevant content, they seek to attract the attention of potential gamblers without directly advertising their services. This requires a more creative approach from the marketing teams and a better understanding of the needs and interests of the target audience. While this can have a positive effect to some extent, it can also lead to an oversaturation of sponsored content and a lack of transparency about the commercial interests behind such content.
Online gambling providers will also have to focus more on retaining existing customers rather than attracting new ones. As it has become more difficult to reach new customers, the focus is now on providing an excellent user experience and building long-lasting relationships with existing players. This can have positive effects, such as reducing gambling addiction and protecting vulnerable groups. On the other hand, it can also lead to reduced innovation in the industry, as the focus is more on retaining existing customers than attracting new ones.
In any case, gambling companies will become less visible in the public space. They previously featured prominently in the media and on various platforms. Now, however, they must look for alternative ways to promote their brand and increase brand awareness. This can be a challenge, especially for new entrants to the market, who have often depended on advertising to grow their business. The lack of visibility can also lead to a loss of competitiveness against illegal and unregulated providers, who do not abide by the same rules.
What is still allowed?
Affiliate marketing can be a good way for online casinos to deal with the ban on untargeted advertising for online gambling providers. CDDN has substantial experience with this form of customer loyalty and can support gambling providers in organising a campaign. This has a number of advantages.
Targeted marketing: Through affiliate marketing, online casinos can work together with specific websites, influencers or content creators who already have a relevant target audience. By working with partners that focus on specific niches or areas of interest, online casinos can effectively get their message across to a target audience interested in gambling.
Transparency and trust: Affiliate marketing can also help build trust with potential customers. By working with trusted partners who provide valuable content, online casinos can increase their credibility. For example, affiliate partners may produce detailed reviews, guides or articles highlighting the playing experience, bonuses, safety and responsible gambling. This contributes to a transparent approach and increases potential customers’ confidence in the online casino.
Cost savings: Affiliate marketing can also be cost-effective for online casinos. Instead of investing in broad and expensive advertising campaigns, they pay a commission to affiliate partners based on leads generated or actual customers. This enables online casinos to use their marketing budget more efficiently and reach specific target audiences without huge advertising costs. It also allows them to better measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts and optimise the ROI.
Compliance with laws and regulations: not unimportant. Affiliate marketing can help online casinos comply with laws and regulations on gambling advertising. By working with selected partners, they can ensure that their marketing efforts comply with the restrictions and guidelines of the ban on untargeted advertising.
Affiliate marketing can therefore offer benefits for online casinos. However, it is essential that online casinos work with reliable and ethical partners to ensure that marketing efforts remain responsible and compliant.
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