Spain tightens advertising rules for betting, gaming

Spain’s government has approved a law significantly restricting betting and gambling adverts both online and on TV and radio over the “sense of alarm” it has raised within society.
The legislation, which will take effect when it is published in the official state bulletin, imposes a total ban on betting and gaming adverts online and on social media, and also bans it from airing on radio and television except between 1:00 am and 5:00 am.
“The aim is to protect public health while also protecting the most vulnerable part of society, namely minors, young people and those suffering from certain behavioural disorders” that trigger compulsive gambling, Consumer Affairs Minister Alberto Garzon said.
It also bans well-known figures, mainly sports stars, from appearing in any such adverts and prohibits betting and gaming firms from sponsoring sporting events or teams, where formerly they played “a very important role,” Garzon added.
Fines for disregarding the new law could be as high as a million euros “because these are very serious offences,” he said.
The decree is aimed at putting an end to the “law of the jungle” which has been the norm until now, with betting adverts “skyrocketing in an extraordinary way in recent years” to the point they “inundated normal life,” he said.
This had triggered a “justifiable sense of alarm within society” over the disastrous consequences of betting which has “destroyed whole families,” Garzon said.
Advertising contracts already in place will be subject to “a moratorium” until the end of the sporting season in August 2021 to give them time “to adapt their business relationships and financing to ensure their economic viability”.
The regulation of gambling and gaming adverts was part of the programme set out in January by the leftwing government of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez which comprises his Socialist party and its hard-left junior partner Podemos.