The Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzon, will raise this Thursday at online gaming industry its intention to considerably narrow the advertising of this activity, so that only announcements of sports bets and other internet games between the 1:00 and 5:00 in the morning. The limitation will fundamentally affect spots on radio and television.

This is a novel measure, since it had not been included in any of the drafts of royal decree designed to regulate advertising by the governments of the PP and the PSOE. Said regulation will also contemplate other restrictions, which will be announced, according to sources from the Ministry of Consumption, in the coming weeks as the “dialogue” that the minister will open tomorrow with the economic and social agents who are part of the Responsible Gaming Advisory Council. Among the initiatives being considered is that of prohibiting famous as Carlos Sobera and others star in the adverts or the limitation of sports sponsorships.

The sector itself, aware that there is a good part of society, is expressing its rejection of the bombing of advertisements and the growing number of betting shopswith the consequent increase in pathological gamblinghas been self-regulated and since last January the athletes active cannot star in the spots. Bonuses and promotions have also been vetoed in direct televised shows, such as football games.

The associations see it insufficient

Although these measures are considered insufficient due to the associations that help people with compulsive gambling, who welcomed this Wednesday the announcement made by the Ministry of Consumption with cautiongiven that previous governments have already tried to restrict the advertising of the game without success, as evidenced by the fact that the previous drafts did not see the light of day despite the fact that one was exposed to collect the pertinent allegations.

“We are going to see if it is carried out & rdquor ;, warned Juan Lamas, technical director of the Federation of Rehabilitated Gambling Players (fejar), who explained that from their association they congratulate themselves that the regulation of the game passes from the Ministry of Finance to that of Consumption, in the sense that it is not seen “simply as a collection mechanism & rdquor ;. Likewise, this group considers that the intentions expressed up to now by Alberto Garzon to put a stop to the bets “they are on the right track & rdquor;, but you have to see “how they are executed & rdquor;.

In the same line, Diana Alonsoa psychologist from Apal y Afujer, points out that restricting advertising to the early morning is a “measure brave but difficult to carry out & rdquor ;, due to the foreseeable opposition from the sector, which this Wednesday has shown “caution” until all the measures are known and has shown itself willing to collaborate in a new regulatory framework. In addition, in the opinion of the psychologist, the limitation remains “halfway& rdquor; because it avoids exposure to advertisements from the Children public but not from a part of the gambling addicts who, precisely because of their gambling, are awake at the wee hours of the morning. For this reason, the associations he represents request the total ban of advertising, as is the case with alcohol or the tobacco. Likewise, Alonso stresses the need to accompany this average with more controls to prevent the minors can play or awareness campaigns. “It is about not normalizing a risk activitynot for leisure,” he points out.

Betting, one more leisure activity

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And it is that, as revealed by a recent investigation by the FAD (Fundación de Ayuda para la Drogadicción), betting houses have become a youth meeting point, due to the fact that the population between 18 and 24 years old does not perceive that there is a risk and considers that the losses derived from gambling are an expense “more”, such as going to the movies or buying clothes. In turn, the Ages 2017-2018 macro-survey, from the Ministry of Health, detected that 3.5% of the population gambles online, that is, 1.6 million people, eight points more than between 2015 and in 2016, when the previous wave took place.

In addition to regulating advertising, the agreement for a coalition government signed between the PSOE and Unidas Podemos contemplates “promoting homogeneous criteria & rdquor; with the Autonomous Communities so that betting establishments can not open before 22 hours and limit their proximity to schools. Although, as the wording specifies, this measure does not depend exclusively on the Government, since face-to-face gambling, except for Lotteries and ONCE, is competence of the autonomies.

Support among consumers for the total ban

87% of consumers ask for a complete ban on casino and bookmaker advertising, according to a survey conducted by facua-Consumers in action in which more than 11,000 people have participated. 58.7% also demand that these places be prohibited from opening before 10:00 p.m. and 27.5% go further and believe that they should be completely banned.


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