The Government prohibits by decree the advertising of betting houses for assuming “social alarm”
The Council of Ministers has approved a royal decree promoted by the Ministry of Consumption directed by Alberto Garzónto limit gambling and betting advertising online to the early morning time slot of radios and televisions, between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.. “We will also be free of this advertising on the internet and sporting events,” said the minister.
Garzón has already begun to legislate in this field, also via legislative decree, in the midst of a pandemic. But in this case using the path of the decree administrativewhat does not even have to go through Parliament: “This rule is the development of the Gambling Law of 2011, so it will come into force the day after it is published in the BOE”.
One of the most visible measures will also be the obligation to break sponsorship contracts with bookmakers, prohibiting their brands from appearing on shirts. In fact, the Ministry team contacted each of the First and Second Division clubs a week ago to warn them that in the next 2021-2022 season other ‘sponsors’ must be sought.
There is only one case among the 42 professional soccer clubs in which there is no relationship with bookmakers. The Real society submitted to a vote among its partners the possibility of accepting an offer that would have meant around five million euros in annual income. 86% of the fans showed their rejection, despite the fact that the entity had had agreements of this type in the past.
The Government, through the mouth of its minister, is of the opinion that “we respond to a social alarm and we satisfy one point of the coalition agreement”.
The measure is included in a package of actions announced by Garzón as soon as he arrived at the Government to control gambling in our country. “We don’t want the game to harm public health”, said the head of Consumption. The physical betting houses and the same advertising of this type of gambling have already been described by the minister himself and the environment of Unidas Podemos as “the heroine of the 80s in our current popular neighborhoods”.
“It has no impact”
And Garzón based himself on that thesis to dismiss the fact that the rule will have an economic impact and on employment in the companies that are financed with this advertising. The minister insisted that “the Government has only used the guiding principle of public health in this decree”.
Asked about the loss of up to 150 million euros per year that this market represents, he said that “there are effects but to a very small extentonly among the economic actors that receive this financing, and they have one year to adapt their financing schemes… it could be said that the norm has no impact, in that sense”.
“Law of the Jungle”
According to Garzón, this measure was necessary due to “the disastrous economic, social and family consequences” that this sector has. “Nine years ago the gambling law was approved and this was the law of the jungle, because there was no relationship,” said the minister. “We want to protect public health and the most vulnerable groups, minors, young people and those with pathological behaviors related to the intensive use of these activities.”
Sources from the media sector told EL ESPAÑOL last February -when the minister’s intention was announced, which he reconfirmed last July-, that a measure of these characteristics will be very harmful for the sector, in the midst of a slowdown in the market advertising.
These same sources indicated that a veto like this will affect practically all advertising for the game that is broadcast during prime time and in the case of radio in all sports carousels and in the evening sports programs.
According to the experts consulted, limiting this advertising exclusively to the time slot from one to five in the morning would not only condemn it to ostracism, but would mean that this type of advertisement would practically end on radio and television.
The data for the year 2018 -the last closed year- indicate that the gaming and betting sector invested 130.2 million in the media, according to Infoadex. If we take as reference the data of the National Directorate for the Regulation of Gambling we have to invest only in game advertising online It was 170.3 million in 2018, to which must be added another 143.7 million if sponsorships are included.
The sources consulted indicate that with a measure that restricts advertising only to the early morning slot, the impact on the media (radio and television) could be of at least 150 million a year. That is, advertising that they would stop broadcasting at the times they currently do.
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