Sports sponsorship will be restricted from 2025.
The first measures of the decree should enter into force already on 1 June 2023.
Initially, all forms of betting advertising will be restricted. Sponsorship of sports clubs by gambling companies will be restricted under other measures which will come into force in 2025.
Plans to restrict gambling advertising sponsorship were presented in May 2022 and neither the country’s Council of State nor the European Commission has objected to the new measures.
GAMBLED BECAUSE THEY SAW THE ADVERTS
The Minister of Justice, Vincent Van Quickenborne, cited various statistics on problem gambling when presenting the decree. He noted that a study found that 33% of problem gamblers who received gambling advertisements by e-mail were influenced and encouraged to gamble.
The report also found that 31% had gambled after seeing a gambling advertisement.
The new decree will prohibit the posting of gambling advertisements on posters in public places or the use of personalised advertisements by email, post, SMS, social networks, as well as any printed advertisement.
However, sports clubs have been given additional time to negotiate new advertising and sponsorship contracts with gambling companies. They will also be allowed to display the gambling brand logo on the back of athletes’ jerseys until December 2027.
64 PROC. OF THE POPULATION HAVE TRIED TO GAMBLE
Nevertheless, the Decree tightens the tax rules, i.e. gambling companies can no longer deduct taxes on sponsorship contracts.
Back in May, Van Quickenborne stated that the gambling industry “is increasingly profitable in our country, thanks to people with a gambling addiction. Gambling advertising attacks us every day and from all sides and encourages addiction.
More than 100,000 gamblers in Belgium exhibit problematic gambling behaviour and a third of them already have a serious addiction,” he said.
According to 2019 figures, more than €2 billion was spent on gambling and 64% of the adult population has tried gambling at least once a year.