The Belgian government has decided to ban gambling advertising across multiple platforms from July 1 in a bid to crack down on addiction and debt, with a further prohibition on ads in stadiums and sports sponsorships coming at a later date.
“The government is deeply concerned about the impact of the huge amounts of gambling advertising that our society is facing. And for those who want to get rid of their gambling addiction, the tsunami of gambling advertising is an additional problem,” Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne said in a statement.
Gambling advertising will be banned from television, radio, cinemas, magazines, newspapers and in public spaces. Online advertising on websites and social media will also be prohibited.
From Jan. 1, 2025 there will be a further ban on advertising in stadiums and from Jan. 1, 2028 gambling companies will no longer be able to sponsor professional sports clubs, such as soccer teams.
The government argued that the ban follows scientific research showing that advertising encourages gambling addiction and contributes to gambling-related debt.
As part of the new rules, sponsorship expenses will no longer be tax deductible for gambling companies.