Gambling advertisements on TV, social media, newspapers, and public posters will all be banned in Belgium this year, under a decree that was finalised on Wednesday. The new restrictions come into place on 1 July. They are being used to tackle “the tsunami of gambling advertising” in Belgian society, which the government argues is increasing gambling uptake and presenting greater difficulties for people trying to shake a gambling addiction.
The new restrictions were detailed in a royal decree, which had to be signed by the King of Belgium before they could come into effect. The proposed restrictions were provided to administrative bodies in Belgium and the European Union, with neither raising any signs that the measures were illegal or unfair. Belgium’s Justice Minister, Vincent Van Quickenborne, said the restrictions were “necessary because the normalisation and banalisation of gambling must finally stop”.
What about sports?
Professional sports clubs will be given an extended time period to move away from gambling sponsors. Gambling advertisements at sports stadiums, such as billboards or banners, will be banned from the start of 2025, while a gambling logo on a professional team’s shirt will still be able to appear until the end of 2027. Amateur teams will still be allowed to have the name of a gambling company on their uniform beyond this date.