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Belgian Advertising Ban Upheld as Gambling Operators Lose Appeal



A coalition comprising gambling operators and sports teams has faced defeat in its legal battle against Belgium’s ban on gambling advertisements, which took effect on July 1st. The group contested the royal decree, which enforces a phased ban, initially prohibiting TV, radio, and print gambling advertisements, followed by a ban on sports sponsorship within four years.

Prominent football and ice hockey leagues, namely the Pro League and the BeNe League, joined forces with gambling operators to file the appeal. However, their efforts were unsuccessful, as the Tournai Court of First Instance ruled that the decree was lawful. The court emphasized that the gradual implementation of the sponsorship ban until 2028 allows sports teams ample time to adapt to the changes.

Similar cases were presented at 11 other regional courts, involving entities such as Club Brugge, Cercle Brugge, KV Kortrijk, KRC Genk, Napoleon Games, OH Leuve, RFC Seraing, Standard Liège, Racing Molenbeek, Brussels Basketball, Continuum Sports Belgium, and Golden Palace. However, all these cases were consolidated and transferred to the Tournai Court to be handled collectively.

Minister of Justice Vincent Van Quickenborne expressed satisfaction with the court’s decision, highlighting the proportionate and legally justified nature of the advertising restriction. He expressed hope that this ruling would put an end to lobbying attempts and legal challenges from the gambling industry and related sectors reliant on gambling revenue.


Van Quickenborne further emphasized the need to acknowledge the new reality, with the ban effectively ending the inundation of gambling advertising in the country from July 1st. The aim is to provide comprehensive protection for individuals struggling with gambling addiction and their families, while also shielding minors from the normalizing impact of gambling advertisements.

Opposing the ban, the Belgian gambling association BAGO argued that it was unnecessary and would inadvertently benefit the unlicensed gambling market. It is worth noting that the Netherlands also introduced a ban on gambling advertising on the same day, but its scope is limited to “untargeted” advertisements.

Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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