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Netherlands Moves to Ban Untargeted Gambling Advertising



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In an effort to allegedly curb gambling addiction, the Netherlands has laid the groundwork for a comprehensive ban on untargeted gambling advertising.

Gambling advertising is set to take a significant hit in the Netherlands. The local government plans on setting a comprehensive ban on untargeted ads, in an attempt to reduce gambling addiction.

Online gambling became legal in the Netherlands in October 2021. Since then, the local gaming authority, Kansspelautoriteit, has issued licenses to more than 20 companies. This has naturally led to an increase in gambling advertising as well, with operators looking to increase their player count.

Authorities took notice and quickly began to phase out gambling advertising. One of the first moves lawmakers made to control gambling advertising was to stop celebrities from appearing in the ads. While celebrities, and retired football players in particular, were a common sight in gambling ads, this was soon brought to a stop.

Understanding the Ban on Untargeted Advertising

An argument at the centre of this discussion is the protection of vulnerable groups. In the case of online gambling, Dutch authorities determined that young adults, ages between 18 and 24, should be considered a vulnerable group.

Minister for legal protection Franc Weerwind has been developing regulations to protect these vulnerable groups from untargeted advertising.

As the name itself suggests, untargeted advertising refers to any kind of ad that isn’t aimed at one specific group. Some examples would include ads on bus shelters, billboards, signposts. Unlike online targeted advertising, untargeted advertising is there for all to see.

“We are already seeing a shift in marketing budget spendings of our partners, from the regular media channels to the affiliate channel. We expect this to continue in the coming months. Especially after the new law comes into force in July, we will work even more intensively with most parties,” says Michael Fancher CCO of

Football in particular is set to take a big hit. You’ve probably noticed an increase in gambling advertising on uniforms and stadiums. Betting sites and online casinos have been investing a significant amount in advertising sporting events. That obviously makes a lot of sense, considering that sports fans are also likely going to be drawn to betting.

Advertising in sporting events, however, also falls under the untargeted advertising umbrella. This means that football teams and other organisations must find a suitable replacement. Because of the large sums of money involved, authorities are willing to hold the ban back for a few years.

While the first set of regulations on untargeted gambling advertising is set to roll out as early as July 2023, sports teams will have a “grace period” of sorts. A ban on event sponsorship is already scheduled for 2024. Teams, meanwhile, will have until 2025 before the ban also hits them. This two-year period is in place to give them enough time to find a suitable replacement.

Fines for companies not in accordance with the new regulations could be quite hefty, as there are some examples to go by. JOI Gaming and Toto Online were initially issued warnings, and later fined, for targeting ads at vulnerable groups. The fines were reportedly as high as €400,000.

Untargeted Advertising and Gambling Addiction

Is there really any relation between untargeted gambling advertising and growth in gambling addiction?

Recent research has shown the opposite. A recent report by the National Alcohol and Drug Information System shows that gambling addiction has gone down over the last two years.

At the same time, a recent survey by Nielsen shows that gambling advertisement spending has gone up by as much as €15 million. While companies have spent more on advertising, this number hasn’t necessarily translated into gambling addiction – quite the opposite.

These numbers, of course, also include untargeted ads. The World Cup was one of the driving forces behind this sudden jump in investment. And it is no secret that the World Cup is a big opportunity for untargeted advertising. Yet, gambling addiction continued to go down.

At the end of the day, most signs point out that gambling addiction and gambling advertisements aren’t necessarily related.

There is also legislation already in place to protect these vulnerable age groups. Gambling ads will usually air past 10:00 pm, for example.

What Now for Gambling Advertising in the Netherlands?

Setting aside the debate about untargeted advertising, one thing is certain: gambling companies in the Netherlands will take a significant hit once the new legislation rolls out. How can online casinos and other gambling operations make up for the ban?

One viable solution has always been there: online ads. Targeted advertising is still legal, and gambling companies can still use Google for advertising. Email ads are also an option, and still relevant to target specific groups of potential users.

Of course, the ban on untargeted advertising is currently restricted to the Netherlands. In other words, companies can still turn their attention to international events. It’s still perfectly legal to advertise in big international competitions, like the World Cup or the Champions League. Naturally, Dutch viewers, whether through streaming or conventional broadcasts, will get to see these ads.

While the ban on untargeted advertisements will inevitably have a negative effect, it’s not the end of the road for gambling advertisements in the Netherlands. There are still plenty of ways to get the message across, but it will require a bit of a rethink on how to do it in the most effective way.

Industry News

Azerion Announces Proposed Changes to its Supervisory Board



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Since the start of 2022, Azerion has seen a period of significant transformation and growth including its listing on Euronext Amsterdam, the completed sale of the Youda card games portfolio and the recently announced placement of EUR 165 million of senior secured floating rate bonds.

Following their successful stewardship throughout this period, Azerion now announced the decision of Peter Tordoir (Chairman) and Derk Haank to step down from Azerion’s Supervisory Board. Both decisions to step down are expected to take effect as from the date of an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to be convened as soon as is reasonably practicable to appoint the proposed new Supervisory Board members described below.

As Azerion prepares for the next stage of its growth plan and the business continues to scale into becoming one of Europe’s largest digital advertising and entertainment media platforms, Azerion welcomed Zafer Karataş and Wim de Pundert as proposed new Supervisory Board members. Further details relating to both proposed Supervisory Board members and the arrangements for the EGM are expected to be published shortly. A new Chairperson will be appointed by the Supervisory Board in due course.

Umut Akpinar, CEO of Azerion, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Peter Tordoir and Derk Haank for their invaluable contribution to the success of Azerion and, in particular, during its initial phase as a listed company. We will be pleased to welcome Zafer Karataş and Wim de Pundert as new Supervisory Board members bringing additional commercial, industry and capital markets experience to the Board.”

Background on Proposed New Supervisory Board Members

Zafer Karataş brings extensive experience in Business Management, M&A, Reorganizations and Financial Audit. He is currently Chairman of the Board of technology company MeritGrup and a Supervisory board member of DVA Bilisim and Most Teknoloji.

Wim de Pundert has been active as an investor and entrepreneur since the early 1990s, including through the use of buy and build and market consolidation strategies. De Pundert founded HTP Investments, a shareholder of Azerion, together with Klaas Meertens. He is also a member of the supervisory board of Knaus Tabbert AG, a European manufacturer of caravans and mobile homes listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

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Industry News

Entain Provides Update on Current Trading and FY23 Guidance



Reading Time: 2 minutes


Entain plc has provided an update on current trading and FY 2023 guidance, as well as plans to update shareholders on the progress of ongoing actions to accelerate operational performance and drive shareholder value.

Current Trading

Post the summer, Online Net Gaming Revenue (NGR) has been mixed across the Group, but in aggregate, softer than anticipated. Q3 Online NGR growth is now expected to be up high single-digit percent, and down high single digit percent on a proforma basis. Key drivers include:

  • Adverse sporting results impacting sports margins during September
  • Group wide implementation of industry leading safer gambling measures and ongoing regulatory headwinds persisting longer than expected, particularly in the UK
  • Slower growth than expected in Australia and Italy
  • Good underlying Online growth (ex-regulatory impacts) as evidenced by further strong proforma growth in active customers across the quarter
  • Strong performance from recent acquisitions, particularly SuperSport in Croatia
  • Robust performance across Retail

BetMGM in the US continuing to perform well: on track to deliver positive EBITDA in the second half of 2023; FY2023 NGR at the upper end of $1.8-$2.0bn guidance; and the successful rollout of Single Account Single Wallet, as well as online sportsbook enhancements supporting strong start to the NFL season.

Entain now expect Group Online NGR for FY2023 to be up low double-digit percent with proforma NGR down low single digit percent. The company reiterate their expectations for FY2023 EBITDA to be in the range of £1.00bn-£1.05bn supported by robust operational controls.

Actions to Accelerate Operational Strategy and Performance

Over the last three years Entain has undergone a significant strategic transformation, improving the quality of earnings and aligning operations to ensure the Group is positioned as strongly as possible to deliver long term shareholder value.

Alongside the Q3 trading update on 2 November 2023, management will share more detail on how these actions are being implemented to accelerate performance and delivery, including:

  • A comprehensive market review focusing on long-term sustainable organic growth
  • The simplification of Group structures and operations to improve operational leverage and reduce costs
  • A plan for the migration of acquired businesses on to the Group’s industry leading technology platform
  • Optimising our capital allocation priorities
  • Progress on delivery of the Group’s Online EBITDA margin target of 30%

Jette Nygaard-Andersen, CEO of Entain, said: “We continue to see good underlying growth in our online business and are reiterating our EBITDA guidance for the year despite softer than expected revenue growth in Q3 and the ongoing roll-out of industry-leading safer gambling measures. We continue to attract more customers than ever before to enjoy our products and services. BetMGM remains on track to deliver positive EBITDA in H2 and a full year NGR performance at the top end of our expectations, and we are particularly excited about the product improvements that we are rolling out over the NFL season.

“We have made significant changes to the Group over the last three years. Our focus now is on accelerating the actions we are taking to drive sustainable organic growth, expand our margins, capitalise on the US opportunity and deliver long-term returns for our shareholders. We remain confident in our ability to deliver on the vast opportunities ahead of us, and look forward to sharing more detail about the changes that we are making alongside our Q3 trading update in November.”

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Industry News

Holland Casino Identifies New Groningen Casino Site



Reading Time: 2 minutes


Holland Casino has chosen Business Park Ter Borch as the new location for its Groningen casino. Holland Casino selected the location at the gateway to Groningen for its accessibility and construction opportunities. Business park Ter Borch, on the edge of the municipality of Tynaarlo, offers Holland Casino the best opportunities to build a casino that meets the company’s architectural and sustainability requirements. Moreover, the location at the gateway to Groningen is easily accessible for guests and there is ample parking.

CEO Petra de Ruiter said: “We are happy that the decision has now been made. If the Tynaarlo municipal council is as enthusiastic as the board of Holland Casino, we can enter the period of planning and construction. I’m looking forward to that and especially to the moment when the new Holland Casino Groningen is open. That is not only good news for our guests, but also for our employees.

“They will soon be able to optimally welcome guests from a new building and offer the hospitality that can be expected from us.”

Spatial planning councilor Jurryt Vellinga of the municipality of Tynaarlo said: “The location makes sense because of the good accessibility and the space that the business park offers. For us it is a sign that the municipality of Tynaarlo and the region are still popular for companies. This location offers employment opportunities and is a great boost for tourism in our municipality.”

Attention has also been paid to the former Holland Casino location on Gedempte Kattendiep in Groningen. The casino was destroyed in a fire in 2017, with Holland Casino operating a temporary facility since 2018.

“Holland Casino offers the municipality of Groningen every cooperation to ensure that something beautiful comes back to the city center. We are grateful to everyone involved for all the cooperation and support we have received in recent years. We are very grateful to Groningen and Tynaarlo for the efforts made to find a suitable location,” Ms. de Ruiter said.

The new branch of Holland Casino, Holland Casino Groningen, is expected to open in 2027.

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