The Council of Ministers approved this Tuesday the first regulation in Spain on the advertising of betting houses, which will drastically limit the advertisements of gambling operators and will imply that operators who fail to comply with the veto on advertisements may lose your license for six months and face fines of up to one million euros.
The decree, as explained by the Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzón, in the press conference after the Council of Ministers, responds to a “social alarm” that was “justified” given the “extraordinary” expansion of betting in recent years especially among young people, with whom the growth of the game is being “primed”. In addition, it “complies” with the PSOE-United We Can Government agreement signed in December 2019.
“Nine years ago the gambling law was approved and until now there was no regulation on advertising,” Garzón recalled, who has assured that with this decree “the law of the jungle” ends in this field and has defended that Thanks to the transitional period that is going to be given to extinguish the current sponsorship contracts, the norm will impact only a “small measure” on the media and on football clubs.
According to Consumption, operators that do not comply with the provisions of the decree will be approved the sanctioning regime of Law 13/2011, regulating gambling. Non-compliances will be serious and operators may be penalized with a fine of between 100,000 and one million euros and with the suspension of their activity in Spain for a maximum period of six months.
For their part, audiovisual communication service providers are subject to the sanctioning regime provided for in Law 7/2010, of March 31, general of audiovisual communication, whose instruction and sanction corresponds to the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC).
The decree, which in a first version presented before the coronavirus crisis was much less restrictive, will prohibit up to 90% of the betting ads that exist and will restrict them to the early morning hours, and will not allow these companies to advertise in clothing sports, although a “reasonable” period will be given, according to Garzón, to the gaming operators so that the sponsorships of sports clubs already signed remain in force until August 30, 2021, in line with the observations made by the Council of State. So-called welcome bonuses and the use of celebrities in advertisements are also prohibited.
The decree was reformulated and hardened after the experience of the temporary ban of advertising the game during the state of alarm and urgent processing in Brussels due to the possibility that eventual “Specific outbreaks” of the coronavirus force new confinements of the population.
Consumption recalls that in the last four years, investment figures in betting advertising have tripled in our country, while there has been an increase in gambling consumption among young people between 18 and 25 years old. In 2017, 28% of new players were in this age group. Two years later, in 2019, the figure had increased twelve points and stands at 40%.