Online sector outraged in the Netherlands, great English goalkeeper vs gambling sponsorship

The NOGA and Peter Shilton are disturbed by football games during the break of advertising blocks.

The Netherlands

New gambling regulations will launch in the country from October 1st 2021. The local regulatory body Kansspellautoriteit held discussions over the future advertising rules. Everything could be OK but the discussions turned out to be controversial as the regulatory body only invited VNLOK, which is the local land-based gambling trade association (including the Dutch Lottery and Holland Casino). Meanwhile, there is another local association, the NOGA, that focuses on online gambling and includes bet365, Entain, Flutter and Kindred Group amongst its members. The second group weren’t called for the discussions.

The NOGA didn’t appreciate this. Members of the association believe that new discussions should be held with the participation from all sides. The organization stands against the increase in land-based operators' advertising. It is believed that it may lead to the opposite reaction and advertising will soon be totally banned. NOGA Director Peter-Paul de Goeij has outlined his position.

“The limit of three gambling advertisements per block applies only to internet gambling advertisements. In addition to three advertisements for online gambling, Holland Casino, Gaston and Koning TOTO will be allowed to advertise their offline offerings without any restrictions. The viewer does not make the distinction between offline and online – the consumer just sees an irritating gambling ad. In addition, advertisements from today’s gambling providers are already ubiquitous; on television, radio, internet, bus shelters and in our letterboxes. Let’s face it, consumers find too many gambling adverts just irritating”.

NOGA director believes that the future gambling advertising avalanche will only lead to a situation where it will be totally banned. Then it will be hard to persuade the local consumers to play at legal websites.

Ivan Kurochkin’s comments

In our view, this should serve as a good reminder of how important it is to appropriately fine-tune the advertising regulations serving all gambling verticals equally.

The intention to limit online gambling advertising under the new regulation in the Netherlands is a sensible outcome given the rapid growth of the online market. But the result has been the advertising space becoming unbalanced as the regulation favoured lottery and land-based verticals, limiting the online one. This doesn’t really solve the problem of ubiquitous gambling advertising broadcasted to the viewers.

One of the worst examples of unbalanced advertising regulation is in Georgia, where gambling advertisements can be found practically everywhere — TV, outdoor, public transport, roadside lightboxes, etc..

Many times, we could see attempts by different organizations to draw the attention of the Georgian regulator to this problem and reveal how intensifying gambling ads may lead to the problem of underaged gambling, and gambling addiction getting worse.


Scientific Games has announced its intention to sell off its lottery and sports betting divisions. The assets are thought to be worth more than $6bn. The company will concentrate solely on their casino products. The decision to divest these assets was probably taken due to the $9bn of debt Scientific Games has.

The lottery business is valued at around 5$bn and the betting business is valued at around 1.3$ bn. They will be purchased either directly (by an operator) or sold yo the public via ab IPO, there could also be some sort of merger.

According to Deutsche Bank analyst Carlo Santarelli, the casino products that will remain as Scientific Games area of interest generated around $1bn in cash flow in 2019 alone.

Ivan Kurochkin’s comments

The Las Vegas-based company's intention to reduce its debt burden seems justified. According to the company’s 2020 annual report, it may not have sufficient cash flows from operating activities to service all of its indebtedness and other obligations.

The company’s financial results imporoved slightly in Q2 2021 compared to Q1 of the same year. Still, the company, which has held the debt burden almost on the same level since 2014, is in a consistently tricky position.

The strategy of the company to sell the lottery and sports betting divisions, and focus on casino business should help to mitigate the risks of the underperforming cash flows, reduce their burn rate and cause their profits to rebound.

The United Kingdom

Former English national team goalkeeper Peter Shilton has called for a change to gambling sponsorship laws within the sport. The legendary footballer, who is England’s most-capped player of all time (125), is 71-years old now. He has a personal reason for calling for the change as he suffered from a 45-year gambling addiction. Peter Shilton and his wife have recently written and published a book about overcoming the addiction.

The goalkeeper joined campaigners handing in a petition with 12,000 signatures to 10 Downing Street calling for an end to gambling sponsorship in football. Shilton also delivered a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson about the issue.

There is no official response to the petition yet. However A Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) spokesperson said that new gambling regulations will take all the problems that may emerge in a digital era into account, including marketing and advertising rules.

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