Bookmakers can advertise at football matches even without using celebrities or allusions to “success”

The project of Royal Decree of commercial communications of the gaming activities that the Ministry of Consumer Affairs is going to be, in principle, away from the regulation “similar to that of tobacco products” that promised the agreement between the PSOE and United We .

According to sources from the Executive, the text will allow bookmakers (as advanced The independent) Place commercial communications on live sports broadcasts on radios and televisions whenever they start after 8 pm (7 in the Canary Islands). They may do so (also on billboards) from that time until 5 in the morning, every day of the week, although the ads may not use celebrities as a hook and their content may not be linked to the idea of ​​success or superiority moral.

Advertising that suggests that the game is the solution to social or financial problems will also be prohibited; the ads that incite convulsive practice (with messages like “Bet, bet, bet !!”), those that present offers of loans to play and those that suggest that the skill eliminates chance and conditions success in the game, according to knowledgeable sources of the decree.

For Lotteries and ONCE, the time limit will not apply. They may place their ads at any time of the day, but they will have to comply with the same clippers regarding their content. The text does not regulate streaming streaming through platforms such as YouTube. According to the Government, “nowhere in the world is there a regulation” in this regard, although it is not ruled out.

The Executive has introduced that exception for sports competitions days after announcing that online game advertising would be restricted to the strip from 1 to 5 at dawn. It is, they say in the Government, to avoid negative “externalities” such as those that, they say, led to a total ban on advertising in the sector in Italy (an illegal game boom). In addition, this exception is “in coherence” with a “guarantee” interpretation of the General Audiovisual Law.

This rule establishes three “time zones considered as reinforced protection” for the protection of minors that, during the week, end at 20 hours. The same law states that the contents “that may be detrimental to the physical, mental or moral development of minors may only be issued open between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.”, an aspect that would guarantee in any case, according to the Executive, the restrictions that will be introduced to the content of the ads.

The decree, which is intended to enter into force before August (after the next Eurocup and before the new football season), finally develops a mandate set out in the Game Law of 2011. In the Government they defend that it is “a milestone “in the management of the sector in Spain because it will assume that” 99% of the publicity of the game as it has been developed until today cannot be the same when “the norm is approved and will” contribute to revolutionize the panorama ” advertising of the sector.

According to these sources, the decree will allow “to respond to a growing social demand to establish limitations to the activity” in order to prevent addictive behaviors, protect young people and other vulnerable groups and articulate an effective framework for “sustainable” play.

Sponsorships and t-shirts

The decree, which the Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzón, will present at a press conference this Friday, will allow betting houses to continue sponsoring football teams in their shirts, although it will introduce some limits: this type of advertising It will be prohibited in the elastic “that are intended for minors” and may not be used brands of game operators in the name of sports stadiums, venues or football teams.

The draft includes the one announced prohibition of publicizing bonuses or loyalty bonds, the limitation to 100 euros of welcome bonuses and the prohibition of “recirculation”, that is, the obligation to spend a certain amount attached to the bond. It also introduces mechanisms to control the publicity of the game on social networks aimed at minors and includes the “prohibition of placing advertising in venues where minors will access”.

The rule, which does not affect autonomous private gambling (bingo, casinos, betting houses and physical gambling halls), will leave at the discretion of the autonomous communities the prohibition of online gambling advertising on physical billboards or urban stands, which will be prohibited “provided that the autonomous community prohibits it and does not expressly allow it”.

The decree includes the obligation for operators to report on the risks of the game and establish control mechanisms to prevent minors from accessing it. And it will prohibit the sending of individualized advertising to those who are registered in the registration of interdictions of access to the game, which in 2019 broke a new record for registrants, with more than 50,000.

In case of non-compliance, the sanctioning regime will be the one established in the Law of the Game, with fines of 100,000 to one million euros that, in case of recidivism and very serious infractions, can range between one and 50 million and the possibility of withdrawal of the license.

What the employer requested

The decree, which contains more than 100 measures with obligations or prohibitions for operators in the state sector (online gambling and the so-called public game of State Lotteries and ONCE), recalls in many respects what it claimed a few months ago, In an interview to, Alejandro Landaluce, president of the employer Cejuego, which represents 60% of the sector (although it does not include many of the operators of the online game) and that in 2018 maintained a intense meeting schedule with political leaders before the wave of regulations on the sector.

In that interview, the manager asked for “a regulation that protects minors, slots that are respected, control of messages so that they are not addictive … And that the use of celebrities that have an impact on minors is not allowed, such as soccer players or youtubers. ” “Face-to-face gaming companies do not need so much publicity because people see the premises,” said Landaluce, who asked that “solo traps” not be made with the public lottery game and the ONCE: “You can’t get a law to protect to your monopoly and harm the private. We would go to European courts and win easily. “

The Government of Mariano Rajoy has already written a draft decree that sought to prohibit those ads that associated the game (also that of the Lotteries and the ONCE) to success and came to shuffle the ban on using celebrities. The text ended up in a drawer.


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