Netherlands: Supplementary regulations enacted as the Dutch regime gains momentum

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On July 1 2013, the Ministerial Regulation on promotion, advertising and addiction prevention regarding games of chance ("Regulation") came into effect. With this Regulation, parts of the Decree on promotion, advertising and addiction prevention regarding games of chance ("Decree"), dated 7 May 2013, have been further specified. The Decree and the Regulation currently only apply to the (Dutch) license holders, but will in the near future also extend to (foreign) providers of online games of chance.

In this regulatory framework, a balance is sought between on the one hand stimulating that consumers find their way to the (legal) licensed games of chance, while on the other hand avoiding stimulating the participation in games of chance in general. The main rules are that when promoting or advertising games of chance the provider:

1. is not allowed to direct its communications to minors or problem gamblers;
2. is not allowed to advertise together with services or goods of third parties;
3. has to advertise with caution; and
4. is not allowed to depict minors in their advertisements.

Further to these general rules, the Regulation contains the following specific information obligations that have to be observed with every promotional communication or advertisement (please note the different effective dates). These information obligations are part of the duty of care of the license holders to prevent gambling addiction. The license holder:

5. is obligated to point out the minimum age for participating in games of chance with every  communication (as of 1 October 2013);

6. is obligated to point out the risks involved with participating in games of chance, by referring to the correct webpage on the website of the license holder (as of 1 October 2013); and

7. is obligated to include a warning in their advertisements that points out the risks involved with participating in games of chance (as of 1 January 2015).

The Regulation also describes in detail the reporting obligations of the license holders relating to their promotional and advertising activities. Among other things the Regulation stipulates that each year, the license holder is required to report on all methods of promoting and advertising and to provide overview of the complaints that were received on its advertising activities.