100+ New Restrictions To Hit Online Gambling Operators In Spain

0
202

On Friday, online gambling operators in Spain were informed of over 100 new restrictions on their ability to promote their products to customers.

Spain’s consumer affairs minister Alberto Garzón announced further details of government plans to reign in gambling ads. The country’s cabinet will begin discussing the proposed changes on Monday after the Royal Decree is released, although the document has reportedly already been submitted for approval by the European Commission.

Garzón said the new rules are likely to ban about 80 percent of current online gambling ads and justified the curbs due to the “impact on public health” of the gambling industry. Garzón said that the more than 100 proposed measures “represent a first step” in dealing with the perceived financial warning in Spain over gambling.

Although the Royal Decree is still to be published, the media have reported a few anticipated changes which include: Online gambling advertising on radio, television and online video outlets will, as previously announced, be limited to a four hour window beginning at 1 am. Betting operators are allowed to run advertisements during live sports broadcasts, but only after 8 pm and ads can not contain’ bet now’ exhortations or information about different in-play wagering markets.

Garzón justified the carve-out of live sports, arguing that a blanket ban would only help to direct “people who need protection” to operators licenced outside Spain “where they have no protection at all.” Garzón is apparently unaware that this argument could be extended to all the new restrictions.

Whist sponsorship of sports teams will still be allowed, only the logo or trademark of the betting operator will be allowed on the team kits , although these will not be allowed on kid-size kits. Therefore, operators can not enter into naming rights agreements with sports stadiums or advertise in-stadia.

Likewise, online gambling advertisements are barred from any public space that accepts minors, and from outdoor ad outlets (billboards, bus stops, etc.). Reportedly, local governments will have some leeway on whether to allow outdoor ads for land-based betting, bingo or casino operators.

Garzón justified the carve-out of live sports, arguing that a blanket ban would only help to direct “people who need protection” to operators licenced outside Spain “where they have no protection at all.” Garzón is apparently unaware that this argument could be extended to all the new restrictions.

Whist sponsorship of sports teams will still be allowed, only the logo or trademark of the betting operator will be allowed on the team kits , although these will not be allowed on kid-size kits. Therefore, operators can not enter into naming rights agreements with sports stadiums or advertise in-stadia.

Likewise, online gambling advertisements are barred from any public space that accepts minors, and from outdoor ad outlets (billboards, bus stops, etc.). Reportedly, local governments will have some leeway on whether to allow outdoor ads for land-based betting, bingo or casino operators.

Oddly enough, advertisements would evidently be allowed to run in print media and via legit news media websites, unless such ads obey all other laws.

Gambling ads can no longer contain endorsements from famous people, particularly those whose fame comes from the sports or entertainment industries, and it will be upto the government to decide who counts as a celebrity.

As with many other countries, advertisements are unable to ‘glamorise’ gambling, associate gambling with financial success or pose gambling as a solution to financial issues. Ads also can not promote the idea that talent prevails over chance in deciding a gambling result, although some flexibility on this front is currently being given to poker operators.

As previously announced, ads can not contain references to new customer incentive deals, including free bet promotions, and bonus offers made directly through the websites of operators will be limited at € 100.

Pop-up ads and other ‘intrusive’ advertising types will not be permitted on websites unless a user has already taken some concrete steps towards wagering.

Operators must make an effort to ensure that minors are unable to follow social media accounts of operators and that operators are unable to advertise on any social media site lacking the ability to philtre users by age.

Ironically, betting touts will be required to reveal information on how their picks have been panned out and betting operators will be barred from working with any tout that refuses to disclose their win / loss percentages publicly.

Free play casino games with random number generator (RNG) will have to use the same RNG method as the real-money product. In the past, operators came under fire for free-play RNG at a higher win-rate than the real-money version, which critics have said creates an unrealistic expectation of success in the minds of customers if / when they switch to the real deal.

The state-run lotteries SELAE and ONCE will have to follow the same limits on advertising as private operators, but they will not be subject to the same time constraints for broadcast advertisements. Rumours of these carve-outs had been loudly protested by private operators, particularly given some embarrassing incidents involving youth buying lottery items.

Failure to comply with these new restrictions can result in financial penalties ranging from € 100k to € 1 m, depending on the severity of the offence and whether an operator has already been penalised. Operators may also lose their licence to operate for six-month periods in Spain, or indefinitely if they show recurrence.

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here