March 24 – Belgian football is joining the rest of the Belgian sports industry in going to court to challenge a total ban on gambling advertising in the country.
The CEO of the Belgian Pro League, Lorin Parys, was among those who signed a joint statement, demanding consultation to counter and revise the royal decree that will ban gambling adverts in the country.
Sports stakeholders argue that the ban won’t protect supporters against gambling addiction, but rather send fans to unsafe offers from unauthorised operators.
They advocate an approach that places responsibility on the sports sector, emphasises responsible gambling with protection for minors and guarantees financial stability for the sports sector.
“However, our repeated plea has not been heard in recent months,” read the statement. “That is why we are going to court today. According to the signatories, “the way forward is a strong legal framework in the field of sports betting, including clear agreements on its promotion.”
“This way we channel players in the right way and do not cut out this much-needed income for the sports. This way we do not drive sports betting to the margins, but give it a clear place and a social responsibility.”
The royal decree will ban betting ads from 2025 onwards. It is estimated that Belgian football clubs get at least 12% of the sponsorship revenues from betting operators.
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