Belgium is Going to Increase the Regulation of Sports Betting. What does this Mean?

The CEO of the European Country's soccer League Confirmed that they Seek to Reduce the Advertising of Sports Betting on their Teams Throughout the Year..

Man using cell phone with betting page

Photo: Adobe Stock-vectorfusionart

LatinAmerican Post | Nicolás Donoso

Listen to this article

Leer en español: Bélgica va a aumentar la regulación de las apuestas deportivas. ¿Qué significa esto?

Recently from the Pro League, the highest division of professional soccer in Belgium, they reported that their main objective is to progressively end the advertising of bookmakers . The plan has in mind that by 2024 all the brands that are related to the world of betting will disappear from all the teams in the country.

According to the consulting firm Deloitte, soccer moves a very large amount of money, about 28.4 billion euros according to a study they carried out in 2020. And precisely a large part of the income comes from advertising and sponsorships. It is detailed that, for example, in Spain, the emission rights of the commitments reach 52% and advertising contributes 31% of total income.

The digital media Business Insider assured that advertising generates more than 500 million euros year after year in the United Kingdom, making the gaming industry the fifth largest sponsor of the Premier League, only behind large financial services companies, airlines, automobile factories and sportswear brands.

What does this measure look for?

The first thing to note is that this measure goes beyond sport and is an issue that involves a large part of Belgium. In fact, the plan is so ambitious that the Government wants to veto any advertising that is related to gambling. This means that gamble companies or platforms will not be able to sponsor themselves on television or radio, nor on social networks or on posters that are usually placed on the street as advertising.

On the other hand, and in the context of sports competitions, according to the Ministry of Justice until January 1, 2025, television advertising will continue to be allowed, but with a maximum of five seconds per ad, at a maximum interval of two per hour. and at least fifteen minutes before or after the broadcast of the games.

Also read: Erling Haaland is already a citizen: a great resource for Manchester City

Clearly, with this they seek to regulate sports betting and fight against the addictions that this can generate in citizens. But it can also be a double-edged sword, since many people may consider this measure as something restrictive and that it violates the freedoms of Belgians.

Gambling addiction

In addition to the big business that betting means for big businessmen, it can lead to gambling addiction or pathological gambling, a disease that according to the (Rae) is "Pathological addiction to electronic or gambling games". Along these lines, the Belgian Minister of Justice Vincent Van Quickenborne stated that the number of young gambling players had increased by 43% during the coronavirus pandemic, and that international research showed that 40% of the winnings they receive the companies came from the people who are addicted to these games.

Since 2013, the American Psychiatric Association considers pathological gambling to be a "psychological addiction or addiction without substance". And, according to the Mayo Clinic in the United States, gambling can destroy lives and the complications it can cause in the person and in their environment are varied, such as problems in interpersonal relationships, economic problems, since much more money is invested of which you have, legal complications, a worsening of health, among others.

Therefore, this measure that Belgium has been promoting for a couple of years and that the Ministry of Justice has reactivated pending the backing of the legislature could be the definitive impact for Europe and the entire world in relation to the importance that the take charge, deal with and regularize sports betting.