Estonia is likely to become the next European nation to propose the enforcement of a blanket ban on gambling advertising.
This development follows last week’s agreement on a new “centrist” coalition government formed by the Reform Party, the Social Democrats, and the Eesti 200 Party.
The Baltic nation will continue to be led by Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, who has outlined strengthening Estonia’s defence and security against Russian threats as the utmost priorities.
Having been sanctioned on Monday, the Coalition has yet to disclose its joint policy agenda. However, Estonian news sources report that its members favour adopting tougher restrictions on gambling advertising to mirror those of other European nations.
The call for a blanket ban on gambling advertising is led by Lauri Läänemets (SDE), who will return to government as Minister of the Interior.
In an interview, Läänemets warned that a curb on gambling advertising was required to combat problem gambling addictions, stating, “We all know how much harm this does to society. People with gambling addiction often cannot break the cycle. This breaks up families”.
Favouring an outright ban, Läänemets acknowledged potential conflicts with sports stakeholders and their existing partnerships, such as Tallinn’s Saku Hall being named the Unibet Arena.
Tõnis Rüütel, director of the Estonian Gaming Operator Association (EHKL), said Estonian gambling operators were prepared to work with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications to modernise advertising laws. He said that there were plans for meetings with Kristi Talvingo, director of the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority which regulates the sector.