After months of consultation and allegations from civil society associations, the Government rectifies and turns one of the measures that caused the most controversy last February when the project of the royal decree of regulation of the publicity of the online game was presented. Finally, the Ministry of Consumption will tighten the restrictions in the text presented before the coronavirus crisis and will limit betting ads on radio, television and video-sharing platforms to the strip from 1 to 5 in the morning. It should be remembered that this time frame was included in the first draft with the exception that the broadcasting of advertisements of this type was given free time in live sports broadcasts from 8 in the afternoon until 5 in the morning in audiovisual supports. Thus, the ministry led by Alberto Garzón allowed the promotion of the game in top-rated soccer games, a point that has been widely criticized by different civil and consumer associations.
In the modified project that Consumption sends today to the European Commission, and to which ABC has had access, restrictions on online gambling advertising are reinforced with what Garzón already advanced last week in the Senate. During his speech, the head of Consumer Affairs assured that the new royal decree would include measures more similar to those applied in article 37 of the decree approved to rule the state of alarm in Spain and which were in force until June 10.
Without sponsorship in kits
Furthermore, in the new draft is banned the sponsorship of related companies with the online game in T-shirts or sports kits, while in the first text professional players were given the option of continuing to wear this type of sponsorship in their kits. The first indications were only limited to the sale of sports team shirts with references to betting houses in small sizes to protect minors. The prohibition on welcome bonuses is also maintained, although it is now extended to all promotions without taking into account the conditions or the amount. Now you can only offer promotions to customers who have a game account open for at least one month.
On the other hand, this almost definitive text maintains the veto to the participation of famous people in advertisements for games of chance in all media and at any time. Public play is again left out of most restrictions and Both ONCE and State Lotteries and Gambling will not be affected by the established time slots. Yes, they will have to follow the same rules in terms of content and, therefore, they will not be able to include celebrities in their advertisements or incite the game with messages that relate gambling to models of success or social superiority or messages of the type “It will change your life.”
Another novelty of the new draft has to do with the mixed commission for monitoring these commercial communications, which, from its effective date, will integrate consumer and user associations to ensure compliance with the codes of conduct that finally approved in the coming months.
Sources from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs argue that «the experience lived during the state of alarm and the measures applied in the matter of game advertising have exposed the risks of overexposure to the advertising of betting and gambling through the media of mass communication and the internet ».