The Dutch have been working on regulations aimed at curbing problem gambling in their country, and they received a big boost to that effort this week. Facebook has agreed to stop advertising gambling to Dutch residents.
Facebook has become a popular avenue for legalized gambling. Earlier this year, Zynga, the largest gaming platform on Facebook, announced they would be accepting real money wagers from gamblers in jurisdictions where online gambling is regulated.
The Netherlands is not one of those nations. The Dutch have went the other way with regulation, making it more difficult for their residents to place wagers. One of the biggest changes made was to the advertising policies in the country. A gaming authority was set up last year to work on new regulations.
Kansspelautoriteit monitors illegal gambling taking place in the Netherlands, and has the authority to assess fines to those in violation of Dutch laws. Facebook has agreed to adhere to the laws, and has stopped promoting gambling through advertisement in the region.
The current laws in the Netherlands are not set in stone. Holland Casino has a monopoly on gambling in the territory, but that is set to change as early as 2015. The government has decided to allow competition in the online gambling market in 2015, opening the door for Facebook to again run gambling advertisements targeting the Dutch.
The world has taken a turn towards full-scale Internet gaming in recent years. Much of Europe has changed their laws regarding online gambling, several of which did so after the World Trade Organization looked into illegal gambling monopolies. Germany, Italy, France, and Spain are just a few of the countries that have opened their gaming industries to free competition.
With Facebook being so popular it’s easy to see how a region who restricts gambling would find fault with advertising taking place on the social network. Each day millions of people log into their Facebook account to socialize with family and friends. Having an illegal venue in a region advertised to so many residents would be reason for concern. Facebook’s gaming apps have been getting a lot of attention, partially due to the fact that they offer players an extremely convenient way in which to enjoy the games they like.