Light Reprieve Granted To Spanish Football And Betting Sponsorships

A light reprieve has been granted to Spanish football clubs and licenced bookmakers, as Spain’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs confirms that current betting sponsorships will be permitted to continue until the end of the season.

Alberto Garzon, Spain’s Consumer Affairs Minister, who has been tasked with spearheading the federal reform of Spanish gambling laws, is confirmed to have signed the order.

The plan would be welcomed by Spanish football clubs, who have raised questions about the effect of the immediate ban on betting sponsorships on the government and regional councils, with La Liga and the lower divisions returning to play.

La Liga president Javier Tebas cautioned against the government’s drastic measures under which restrictions will lose around EUR 90 million under sponsorship revenue to La Liga clubs.

October saw the implementation of the ‘Royal Advertising Decree’ of Spain, imposing federal limits on gambling advertising in all media outlets, with TV commercials limited in all provinces to a 1-to-5 am time slot.

Garzon and DGOJ Director-General Mikel Arana guaranteed in prior communications with the media and football authorities that Spanish football would be given a ‘grace period’ to fulfil existing contracts, but warned clubs that it would be a quick transition.

Garzon reprimanded La Liga governance before the La Liga 2020-2021 season for authorising ’11 clubs to line-up with betting sponsors on the front of their shirts’.

Signing off on the transition period, Garzon argued that no Spanish football club during the period should enter into an arrangement with a bookmaker.

Garzon and the Ministry of Consumer Affairs will begin ‘step 2’ of Spanish gambling reforms after the adoption of Spain’s Royal Decree on Ads and new sponsorship rules, in which the government aims to begin a federal self-exclusion register covering all autonomous communities in Spain.