Justice Minister hopes to ban almost all advertising for gambling

The Federal Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne (Flemish liberal) has said that he hopes to ban almost all advertising for gambling in Belgium. Under Mr Van Quickenborne’s plans gambling products such as bookmakers and online gaming sites would no longer be able to advertise on television or radio. They would also be banned from advertising in newspapers and magazines and using direct links to a gambling site with any advertising they might place on the internet. 

Billboard advertising for gambling products would be banned too, and from 2024 brands from the gambling industry would be banned from appearing on the shirts of sports teams as part of shirt sponsorship contracts.

This is likely to have a big impact, particularly on professional football clubs. 16 of the 18 clubs in the Belgian First Division have sponsorship deals with companies from the world of gambling. In some cases, these companies are even the team’s main shirt sponsor.

Mr Van Quickenborne will first ask the advice of the Council of State before he puts his idea into a bill.