Belgium: PM De Croo defends ban on gambling-related ads

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Prime Minister Alexander De Croo defended a ban on gambling ads in the Federal Parliament on Thursday, rejecting the argument that it would mean the end of football.

“If some of our sports are dependent on this type of funding, then I think there is another problem,” De Croo said.

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The gambling ads have been shown during halftime. But on Monday, Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne of the Flemish liberal party, Open VLD, wrote in a draft royal decree to ban advertising on gambling.

Coalition partner and French-speaking sister party to the Flemish Open VLD, Mouvement Réformateur (MR), are alone in opposing the ban.

Due to the royal decree, an agreement is not legally required from the Council of Ministers. However, the Prime Minister believed that it is essential that all voices are heard in case of any queries on the policy. 

The text is currently with the Belgian Council of State as well as the European Commission, which is expected to respond within three months.

“We must not lose sight of the essential: how to protect people and prevent them from finding themselves in a situation from which they can no longer escape?” De Croo asked.

“Gambling destroys people’s lives and brings families to the brink of destruction,” the Belgian Prime Minister said.

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