Chilean and Dutch authorities fight gambling ads, whilst Kenya now has 100 bookmakers
4H and Legalbet present this weeks news
In Holland the local regulator keeps on working over the rules for the operators. Gambling ads have become the target this time. The regulator reported 40 ads per hour between 11 pm and midnight were detected at peak and so new rules are to be introduced later this year. The Dutch minister for legal protection, Frank Weerwind, claims that clear and comprehensible standards will be set. He has noted that operators are currently about to cross several red lines by performing their marketing in the way they do it.
Some Dutch politicians have called for a total ban on gambling ads. Frank Weerwind doesn’t support this idea, but he believes that the new rules should be introduced within a year. Some stricter requirements should be added to avoid the situation deteriorating. For example, one of the existing requirements says that the ads shouldn’t be targeted at people under 25. However, operators find various ways to circumvent the rules. Instead of cooperating with a football player that is popular among young people and still plays, they instead choose the one that has already retired (but still remains popular).
Operators have already dropped radio, outdoor, and print ads. However, taking into account ads appearing in other broadcasts, for example, at football game inside the stadium, along with the official ones, it is clear that viewers see around 120 gambling ads per hour. Operators spent almost €30 million Euros in December last year and €20 million more in January this year.
Ivan Kurochkin´s comments
We continue to monitor the state of things in the Netherlands. This time, the attention of the regulator fell on gambling advertising. Discussions that gambling advertising should be placed in a stricter framework of legislative regulation have been going on in the Netherlands for more than half a year. The discussion has not yet passed into the stage of active actions, but the parliamentarians do not want to make a decision without a deep legal analysis of the current situation.
The main concern of the regulator and the authorities is the amount of advertising and the broad interpretation of the provision that advertising should not use role models that appeal to people aged under 25. The latter is often used in the regulation of the European countries (for example, in the UK). However, the desire of MPs to set standards and create clear guidelines on how to understand the requirements of the law is commendable.
Working on advertising legislation together with the fight against unlicensed operators in the Netherlands could lead to the Netherlands becoming a role model gambling market and set a good trend for other jurisdictions.
The official licensed betting market has reached 100 registered bookmakers. The list of the betting companies licensed for the year ending June 2022 was published by the local regulator (BCLB). The interesting point is that the local government is not supportive of betting. High taxes are implemented for both operators and bettors. Kenya introduced a special excise duty in 2019 which was lifted in June 2020. However, local authorities re-introduced it in 2021.
Bettors now have to pay 7.5% of every bet they place (at the very moment a bet is made) regardless of the final outcome. In case it wins, 20% more is paid as taxes. The operators need to pay additional taxes. However, it doesn’t prevent the industry from growing. BCLB chief executive Peter Mbugi claims that the majority of the 24 new bookmakers are local companies.
According to the 2018 data, the gaming industry combined revenue reached 204 billion Kenyan shillings (around $1.8 million).
The senator that represents the Coquimbo region Marco Antonio Sulantay has introduced a bill to the Chamber of deputies. It suggests a ban on gambling ads during the sport events and on the kits teams wear. Sulantay has mentioned that the bookmakers that operate in the country work from abroad as the industry is not regulated in Chile. They don’t pay taxes while they generate millions of dollars.
Sulantay believes that the government should ban the bookmakers from sponsoring sporting events and clubs. The Ministry of Finance is supposed to work over the betting operations in Chile to make operators pay respective taxes. Sulantay has mentioned that betting companies have been covering the sports industry and clubs a lot, which affect the minors. He cited problem gambling as the main reason for proposing the bill.
Deputy minister of finance Alejandro Weber claimed earlier that the government wanted to regulate the Chilean online betting market. It could generate around $55 million per year in taxes. According to the main casino administration data, there are 900 websites and platforms for online betting in Chile. They represent a market of around $150 million.
It’s been mentioned that operators may be granted a five year renewable license or six month non-renewable one.
Ivan Kurochkin´s comments
Chile intends to fight advertising, but in a tougher manner than in the Netherlands - by completely banning advertising at sporting events and in sports clubs.
There is a feeling that this measure will be ineffective. The root of the problem is stated in the article itself - the Chilean authorities must first regulate the work of offshore operators in the country.
The first and most important step should be developing legislation that obliges operators to obtain a license, including the offshore gambling operators. Legalisation will allow regulating the issue of advertising placement, will contribute to the protection of players, and in the end will open a new source of income for the state budget.
As for the methods of combating illegal operators, they are known to everyone: blocking websites, payment systems, and limiting marketing activities. Probably, these measures could better solve the issue of advertising by offshore operators at sporting events than a complete ban on such advertising. After all, as we all know, it is more effective to fight the cause, rather than the consequences.
Betcris has become a partner of nine teams of the Honduran national football league, the top tier of the system in the country. Only ten teams participate in the league. The only club that is not a partner of the gaming operator is CD Olimpia. The company is also a sponsor of the Honduran highest division. The contract was signed in July of 2021 and is set to last three years.
In return for a financial commitment to the clubs, Betcris will benefit from seeing its branding placed in prominent positions around stadiums, on football kits and on social media channels. The company plan to keep on investing in the local sports (football and others) and partner with some other teams. Betcris has been operating in retail shops in the three largest cities of Honduras.