Reaching Dutch audience segments more effectively


John Foster, Head of B2B Sales, at Enteractive speaks with 5 Star to offer his perspective on the future of marketing restrictions in the Netherlands.

Online gambling operators in the Netherlands market are facing a significant problem due to an impending ban proposed by the country’s gaming authority, Kansspelautoriteit, on untargeted gambling advertising. 

Since online gambling was legalised in the country in October 2021, the number of licensed companies has increased, leading to a rise in gambling advertising as operators try to attract more players. 

However, the Dutch government has taken notice of this and started phasing out gambling ads, giving the green light to fresh legislation that forbids gambling operators from promoting their services through television, radio, and public areas. The ban is intended to protect vulnerable groups, specifically young adults aged between 18 and 24, who are considered susceptible to the influence of untargeted advertising.

Effective from July 1st, the new rule has been introduced by the Dutch Cabinet with intentions to prohibit advertising of online gambling services unless they exclusively target individuals who meet the legal criteria for gambling and pose no heightened risk of addiction. This comprehensive ban encompasses radio and TV commercials, along with outdoor billboards.

To adapt to the new regulations, gambling operators are shifting their marketing budgets from traditional media channels to affiliate channels and exploring alternative advertising strategies to reach their customers. 

One such method is contacting registered customers by phone to promote retention and engagement, and to prompt the further activation and funding of their accounts if it was not completed during the registration process – registered but non-funded (RNFs) accounts make up a large percentage of stalled sign-ups. 

Interacting with players on a one-to-one basis like this can have a positive effect on retention and LTVs because it empowers operators to cultivate a closer and more personalised connection with their audiences.. A study by the American Society of Quality Control found that 68% of consumers leave a brand because they do not feel valued, and by reaching out to customers individually, rather than on one-way channels such as email and SMS, operators can build stronger relationships with their less active audience segments and increase their loyalty and engagement.

The Dutch Online Gambling Market has also grown steadily as player accounts increased by 158% and revenues for 2022 came to €1.08 billion. These numbers illustrate the great potential that the Netherlands market holds for operators. The Dutch online gambling market is projected to grow by 7.44% (2023-2027) resulting in a market volume of US$1.43bn in 2027.

In light of this potential, it is essential for operators to employ every legal strategy available to retain their players and increase their LTVs. By using strategies such as having direct

interactions with customers, operators can continue to engage with their customers and maximise their LTVs.

In addition to reaching out by phone, there are several other strategies that operators can use to improve retention and reactivation. One way is to use data analysis to understand player behaviour and preferences. By analysing player data, operators can tailor their promotions and offers to individual players, increasing the likelihood that they will remain engaged with the platform.

Another strategy is to use gamification to increase player engagement. Gamification involves adding game-like elements to non-game contexts, such as online gambling platforms. By incorporating elements such as points, badges, and leaderboards, operators can make their platforms more engaging and increase player retention.

Operators can also use social media to engage with their players and build a sense of community. By creating a strong social media presence and regularly interacting with their players, operators can increase player loyalty and retention.

Finally, operators can use responsible gambling tools to help prevent addiction and promote responsible gambling behaviour. By providing players with tools such as deposit limits, self-exclusion options, and reality checks, operators can help players stay in control of their gambling activities and increase player trust and loyalty.

Although the ban on un-targeted advertisements will have a negative impact on some companies’ marketing strategies it does not mark the end of gambling advertising in the Netherlands. Online targeted advertising remains legal allowing gambling companies to advertise on platforms like Google. Email ads can also be utilised to target specific groups of potential users.

Furthermore, the ban only applies within the Netherlands’ borders; companies can focus their advertising efforts on international events. Advertising during major competitions like the World Cup or the Champions League is still permissible; Dutch viewers will still be exposed to these ads through streaming or conventional broadcasts.

While the new law will undoubtedly have an impact on the Dutch gambling market, there are still viable alternatives available for operators to reach their customers and promote retention and engagement. By using strategies such as calling customers directly and leveraging data analysis to understand player behaviour and preferences, operators can continue to engage with their customers and maximise their LTVs.

Enteractive helps operators around the world to increase their active players, with personalised engagement that complements operator’s existing CRM activities.