Spain’s Royal Advertising Decree To Cut Gambling Correspondence 80%

Spain’s lengthy-awaited Royal Advertising Decree is expected to cut gambling correspondence by 80 percent, with the country’s government seeking to clamp down on a range of betting-related marketing activities.

It’s expected that the left-wing coalition, formed by PSOE and Podemos parties, will tighten restrictions on betting advertising channels after claiming that the gambling industry was ‘over-exposed to young audiences.’ Business analysts cite Spanish online betting sales in the last few years as rising significantly to $19.2 billion in 2018.

Advertising reforms were led by the new spanish consumer minister Alberto Garzón, who said: “The regulation has to be similar to [that of] tobacco. We are not regulating the textile sector here, but a sector that has an impact on public health.

“If there are people [who want] the total ban on advertising, I am here to discuss it and explain that international experiences, such as that of Italy, have proved to be a failure; that the economic rationality of the measure is also wrong and that therefore the total ban on advertising is not only inappropriate but also imprudent.

“There are people who will bet, yes, and yes because they may have a problem.”

In response to developments, FACUA expressed its dissatisfaction with the mandate of the government and claimed that PSOE-Podemos should also have implemented a tougher federal advertising regime.

FACUA has previously identified betting commercials broadcast during football matches as ‘serious irresponsibility,’ while stating that nine out of ten consumers would support a total ban on casino and bookmaker advertising and sponsorship–a FACUA directive urges the government to support this.

Garzón said that while ideally a full ban on betting would be perfect, having such a practise would be counter-active and could lead to illegal avenues for customers to go.

He remarked: “If we generate incentives for companies to go to the illegal world because they no longer have advantages in the legal world, we are likely to be pushing people who need protection to an illegal world where there is no protection.”

Among the proposals presented a ban on advertisements for gambling firms is included. TV and radio advertisements will be banned until 8 pm, while online betting advertisements will only be allowed from 1 am to 5 am. This could have a severe impact on the La Liga revenue from Spanish football, indirectly considering that about 50% of all matches in La Liga take place within those timeframes.

Betting firms will also not be able to sponsor stadiums and team names at any sports capacity. Plus, celebrities or anyone considered by the government to be’ well-known personalities’ are unable to associate with betting companies in Spain.

The government has decided not to ban sports bookmaker sponsorships in an attempt to soften the blow to many of Spain’s biggest clubs, especially in La Liga, which currently has 19 clubs with such deals in place.

Whilst shirt sponsorships are allowed, Spanish clubs will need to remove betting firm logos from all child replica shirts sold.