As the minister in charge of the National Lottery, Federal Finance Minister Vincent Van Petegrem decided that it will not advertise sports betting via radio, TV and written press during the World Cup in Qatar.
A World Cup is traditionally a time when more people find their way to sports betting, which is why player protection and the fight against gambling addiction are a cornerstone of Van Peteghem's policy.
"The National Lottery is taking a leading role in protecting players and fighting gambling addiction," he said in a press release on Sunday. "At a World Cup, the sport and supporter experience should be central."
"Advertising for sports betting should have no place in broadcasts or reports via television, radio and written press," he added. "The National Lottery is already setting a good example by not advertising its sports betting on these channels."
- Belgium to put €200 weekly limit on online gambling to tackle addiction
- 'Gambling is the new smoking': Belgium to ban nearly all betting ads
During the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the Gambling Commission found that half of the newly registered gamblers were people gambling for the first time. As advertising only reinforces this trend, the National Lottery will not advertise its sports betting activities via radio, television and written press during the Qatar World Cup.
Van Peteghem guaranteed that the Lottery would continue to play a leading role in the fight against gambling addiction and channelling players towards safer gaming environments in the coming years.
This will include low (and strict) play and deposit limits, as well as sponsorship and advertising restrictions. Measures will be taken to this end, which Van Peteghem will soon propose to parliament in his new National Lottery policy letter.