"Banning gambling advertisements in Belgium was the demand of National Lottery"

The ban on gambling advertisements in Belgium was a demand by the National Lottery which wanted to pay 30 million euros for it. The Minister of Justice, for his part, denies it. Nevertheless, there does seem to be a ban on gambling advertisements in the near future. This ban applies to all providers except for the National Lottery.
From a letter that the Belgian medium Het Laatste Nieuws has had in its hands, it appears that the National Lottery, which is part of the state, has indeed called for a ban on gambling advertisements in Belgium. This demand was made to Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne. In return, the Lottery would transfer €30 million to the state treasury.

The ban on gambling advertisements would only strengthen the monopoly position of the National Lottery. The alleged amount of €30 million would be in addition to the annual monopoly interest. This interest is paid because it is the only provider authorized to offer games of chance in Belgium.

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In May, the Belgian Minister of Justice came up with the plan to put an end to gambling-related advertisements in Belgium. The ban is also intended to prevent gambling-related advertisements from appearing on TV. If the ban comes, it should take effect at the end of the year. The ban applies to radio, billboards, social media, magazines, and newspapers. Sponsorship of sports teams should also be banned from 2024.

Upcoming ban on gambling advertisements in Belgium causes a stir

The possible decision of Van Quickenborne caused a lot of commotion in Belgium, among various stakeholders. From the political arena, there was immediately a lot of criticism, because coalition party MR would have been excluded during the decision-making process. Even the gaming commission, the Belgian equivalent of the gaming authority, initially felt that it had been bypassed. Later it came back to these words. The online casinos themselves are outraged by the likely ban on advertisements. Trade association BAGO states "that there is a double standard".

With this, it refers to the National Lottery, which insists on continuing to promote its own services. Jannie Haek, CEO of the National Lottery, jokingly announced on the radio that the problem only arose when private companies were suddenly allowed to offer games of chance. These are the companies that will feel an impending advertising ban.

No amount paid for a preferential position

Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne, for his part, denies that the National Lottery has made a demand and paid an amount with the aim of silencing other providers. The Minister does indicate that the National Lottery has drafted a letter to tighten the rules for advertisements, but states that they had no influence or say in the drafting of the plans.

Van Quickenborne does have an explanation for where the money has come from. The €30 million can be explained by the fact that the Belgian government wanted to increase the monopoly interests by €10 million each time over the next three years. This would have been done in the context of a budget discussion. The minister's words on the matter are as follows:

"The insinuation that I would have been influenced by the National Lottery is completely off the mark. The reason we want to curb gaming advertisements is to counter the growing, devastating effects of gambling addiction in our country. A letter from the National Lottery has nothing at all to do with that."