The Dutch Gaming Authority (KSA) has issued a cease and desist order for the Dutch State Lottery (Staatsloterij) due to the use of professional football players in Euro 2020 promotional materials.
The order came after KSA investigators assessed an ad for a Dutch state lottery on May 25 that featured current Eredivisie players as well as several players selected for the Netherlands squad for Euro 2020.
The KSA said the ad appeared on various club websites and social media, including Twitter.
Dutch advertising laws prohibit license holders from using professional athletes in advertisements to "recruit" players.
However, sponsorship of professional athletes and teams by Dutch licensed operators is permitted as long as recruitment standards are not violated.
The law's stated goal is to prevent vulnerable groups, including young people, from coming into contact with gambling and potentially becoming risk or problem gamblers.
For this reason, the guidelines state that "role models" other than professional athletes should not be used if they have significant youth outreach or if they themselves are under 25 years of age.
In response to the order, the Dutch State Lottery adjusted the ad after the imposition of a cease-and-desist order to remove football players from the ad.
Calling the order "disproportionately burdensome", the Dutch State Lottery did so on the understanding that if it did not comply, it would be subject to a financial penalty and that the order would not be made public.
However, the KSA released the order, citing the protection of public health as taking precedence over any privacy granted to the Dutch State Lottery.
“The state lottery, as a license holder, must always comply with laws and regulations,” the KSA said.
“That it changed its method of operation only after the periodic fines order was issued, therefore, is not a valid reason for the KSA to refrain from publishing.”