New Government in Estonia Wants to Ban Gambling and Betting Advertising

The Reform-Eesti 200-SDE coalition in Estonia says it wants to ban sports betting and online gambling ads and take steps to help people with gambling addiction, according to an ERR article.

Minister of Interior Lauri Läänemets (SDE) comments: «In particular, while we may have tended to think that nowadays some types of gambling ads are banned, sports betting gets advertised from morning till night».

«We all know how much harm this does to society. People with gambling addiction often cannot break the cycle. It breaks up families, while I would venture to say that the overall damage may be significantly greater for society».

The new coalition also wants to strengthen counseling for gambling addiction and offer help to people who find themselves in a difficult situation due to gambling addiction.

The coalition agreement contains provisions to ban online gambling and paid credit advertising.

Advertising expert Joel Volkov said one effect of the ban is that social media could become even more in demand for advertising, raising the question of how to control what happens on social media.

Tõnis Rüütel, director of the Estonian Gaming Operator Association (EHKL), said the ban came as a surprise because the current regulations, overseen by the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority (TTJA), are quite severe already.

Many online gambling sites disallow access for Estonian IP addresses, although white list of sites exists; several large companies involved in online betting, sports betting and related activities such as Coolbet and YOLO Group.

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