Saudi Arabia Issues Warning to Operator for Inappropriate TV Sponsorship Segment

The Netherlands gambling regulator, Kansspelautoriteit/KSA, has issued a reminder to operators that untargeted ads are no longer permitted. This warning comes after a recent violation by a licensed gambling company that aired an untargeted ad during a TV game show, prompting the KSA to intervene.

Although the Netherlands has not yet fully prohibited TV sponsorships, there are strict restrictions in place, and the operator in question violated these restrictions. The country banned untargeted advertisements last year and is scheduled to disallow TV sponsorships from July 1, 2024. Additionally, a year later, the Netherlands plans to ban gambling sponsorship contracts in professional sports.

The gradual crackdown on gambling advertisements and sponsorships aims to address the issue of problem gambling rates in the country and protect minors and vulnerable groups from exposure to gambling content. Despite providing ample time for gambling companies to adjust to the changes, the KSA continues to detect violations from time to time.

In the recent case, the KSA found that the advertisement in question did not meet the conditions for TV program sponsorships. While such sponsorships typically allow an operator’s logo to appear neutrally during broadcasts, the TV program in question also featured a game involving a fruit-themed slot, which the KSA deemed to be a non-neutral expression. The regulator contacted the operator and the TV program, resulting in the adjustment of the game element.

This warning from the KSA comes on the heels of a probe into slot machine arcades launched a month prior. In December, the authority issued a warning that supervisors would carry out checks on compliance with addiction prevention requirements and ensure that arcades do not violate the rules.

Meanwhile, the KSA is preparing for a significant leadership change this year as its current board chairman, René Jansen, has reached retirement age and decided not to renew his term.