Netherlands’ state lottery, Nederlandse Loterij, has received a cease and desist order to stop advertising with professional football players from the country’s gambling authority, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA).

Issued prior to the European Championship football tournament, KSA said in a statement on its website that it has put forward the order to limit the exposure games of chance have to vulnerable groups, including young people, as it could lead to gambling addiction.

Regulations on games of chance prohibit its providers from using active professional athletes and teams in their advertising since these role models are popular with minors and young adults. Sponsorship of professional athletes and teams, for example in the form of shirt advertising, is allowed.

Role models other than professional athletes cannot be used if they have a substantial reach among young people or if they themselves are younger than 25.

KSA stated that in the build-up to the 2020 UEFA European Championships, Nederlandse Loterij broadcasted advertisements featuring professional athletes on several channels in various forms. The lottery adjusted the advertising after the order was issued subject to a penalty so that the football players could no longer be seen in its advertising.

The gambling authority also noted that due to legal deadlines, it can only now make the decision public.

At the start of June, Nederlandse Loterij named former professional footballer Wesley Sneijder as its ‘King TOTO’ for its new TOTO campaign ahead of this summer’s Euro 2020.

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