Spain Fast Tracks Gambling Ad Window Amid COVID-19 Lockdown

An emergency meeting held by the Council of Ministers of Spain has fast-tracked steps of the approved Royal Advertisement Decree from the government.

Spanish ministers yesterday approved a package of temporary ‘social shield’ measures aimed at protecting people during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, which has devastated healthcare networks in the region.

The Spanish Government has introduced the most strict lockout, social distancing and isolation initiatives for the second hardest-hit nation in Europe, which has recorded 95,000 cases of COVID-19 and 8,300 deaths to date.

Spain’s Council, sanctioning temporary steps, would fast-track the order of the Royal Decree to impose that gambling ads can only be shown during a four-hour period scheduled from 1-5 am in all of Spain.

Last February, the Council of Spain had accepted all the terms of the Royal Decree, voting on its steps in federal law.

Nevertheless, the government had told gambling incumbents that it would not enact its advertisement legislation until the beginning of a new football season in August, giving operators a grace period in which to fulfil existing media contracts.

Temporary steps are expected to be formally approved today, with the government’s state gazette being issued.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs of Spain, which serves as the governing department for regulatory growth of gambling, has underlined its support for fast-tracking initiatives by reporting that civic groups have reported an rise in gambling problems since the time of confinement began.