Fines of one million euros for betting ads after hours
The Government has approved the royal decree to regulate audiovisual advertising for online betting and games of chance, which prohibits advertisements outside the hours of one to five in the morning and provides fines for the operators of up to one million euros and the suspension of business activity. These are some of the premises of a decree, which, according to what the Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzón, pointed out this Tuesday at the press conference after the Council of Ministers, “end the law of the jungle” that has governed the audiovisual advertising sector of gambling operators up to now. The regulations do not prohibit, however, neither the announcements of State Lotteries nor those of social entities such as ONCE, although it does condition their messages.
With this norm, according to the minister, the Government gives response to a social alarm that had been generated “justifiably” and with which it is intended protect the health of the most vulnerable population, minors, young people and people with addiction pathology. The new text refers to the television and radio advertising of the game on the internet that limits her to that stretch of the early morning.
Advertising in non-specialized written press is only allowed in those cases in which the edition is exclusively regional and the regional regulation does not prevent it. In practice, according to Consumer sources, most of them are prohibited because there are regional laws that prohibit this type of advertising.
No advertising on sports jerseys
The norm approved this Tuesday, which will enter into force with its publication in the Official State Gazette (BOE), contemplates that sports clubs may not display advertising, nor may “famous” people promote it, and it prohibits the issuance of promotional vouchers to attract customers.
Companies may only direct their offers to registered and verified customers and, in no case, to people who have shown pathological behavior in gambling activity; To this end, new obligations are established for operators to strengthen access control to the betting market.
The breaches will be of the serious type and the game operators may be penalized with 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. The new text also adjusts the content of advertising messages to protect the most vulnerable sectors, since according to Consumption, in the last four years, the figures for investment in advertising, promotion and sponsorship have tripled in Spain.
Parallel to this increase in investment, according to Consumption data, there has been a increased gaming activity among 18-25 year olds. For example, in 2017, 28% of the new players were part of this age group, and two years later the figure has increased 12 points and stands at 40%, according to the data handled by this ministry.
The rule develops articles 7 and 8 of the 2011 gaming law, and does so through four titles (another 37 articles), six additional provisions, four transitory provisions, a repealing provision and three final provisions.