Law chiefs have swooped to stop “illegal” stadium ads for a British online bookies.
The Dutch Ministry of Justice acted after the Feyenoord Centenary Tournament Trophy at the De Kuip stadium — in which Celtic F.C and Tottenham Hotspur took part — featured multiple banner hoadings for Unibet.
Ministry officials also claim the firm gained widespread exposure from hoardings at former Dutch international defender Jaap Stam’s live-televised testimonial last week at the FC Zwolle stadium.
Ministry spokesman Ivo Hommes said: “Gaming companies without a license cannot offer their services in the Netherlands, nor can they advertise. They are breaking the law.”
Feyenoord said last weekend’s pre-season warm-up tournament had been organised by external media company IEP and they had been “guests in our own ground.”
For their part, IEP claimed the Unibet advertising was a simple misunderstanding: “We disposed of a surplus of advertising space and asked another company to look for advertisers,” explained spokesman Jan de Vos.
“This company claimed Unibet was allowed to advertise and we acted in good faith. This will not happen again. We should play by the rules.”
Justice Ministry officials have now issued a written complaint.
Unibet was hauled over the coals recently for placing hundreds of posters in Dutch bus shelters.
And in March, a Dutch court ruled the company must BLOCK access to its web site from the Netherlands because in was in breach of the national Betting and Gaming Act.
“They are very much aware of the fact that they are breaking the law”, Mr Hommes added.
But Unibet remain defiant: “There is free movement of services in Europe, and soccer events such as these are a perfect opportunity for us to generate publicity,” said spokesman Christophe Dhaisne.