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Rachael Price April 1, 2020 3 min read
Gambling Advertising Limited in Spain Due to COVID-19
Spanish government limits advertising and online gaming marketing while the COVID-19 outbreak continues to grow.
Spanish Government Limiting Gaming Advertising
Following the gambling marketing regulations implemented by the Spanish government in February 2020, a new article was published in Spain’s Official Gazette this Tuesday (Mar 31).
The Royal Decree article 37,11/2020 limits the communication of the gambling suppliers with the audience. The game providers will be allowed to broadcast advertisements between 1 am and 5 am. Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, this is one of the government’s new measures aiming to keep the economic and social order in the country.
In February’s updated gambling regulations there was an exception for advertising which was available during live sports in the hours between 8 pm and 5 am. However, with yesterday’s article, advertising will be removed entirely from Spanish broadcasts since there are no sports being played for the moment.
The COVID-19 Pandemic Continues to Grow
Spain is the second European country that was severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, the total number of infected people is more than 102,000 of which some 22,000 recovered and more than 9,000 died.
This forced the Spanish government to apply a strict lockdown and social distancing measures. While the outbreak continues to spread across Europe and Spain, the government is aiming to protect society and the economic order. Similar advertising regulations were applied in other European countries as well. In March the Dutch gaming regulator – KSA noted that any advertising content related or using the virus outbreak will result in fines for the supplier who promotes it, fines to start from €50,000.
A similar move was made by MGA – the Malta Gaming Authority that warned the gaming suppliers last week. The operators were notified not to use the virus outbreak for marketing purposes, but also no form of marketing can suggest that gaming can be an alternative way of employment or investment.
In the United Kingdom, MPs have expressed concern that self-isolated individuals might turn to gambling. Lawmakers have urged gambling firms to impose a gambling limit of £50 a day while the lockdown lasts.
One of the main concerns has been the shift of efforts in online advertising. With sports suspended, companies have been advertising their casinos more intensely and frequently, and casino gaming is generally considered more addictive of the two gambling activities.
Government to Monitor Gaming Marketing
The Spanish government implemented the updated regulations yesterday after the country regulator DGOJ (La Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego) announced that in the recent weeks an increase was noticed in the gambling enterprise.
The gaming industry communication will be closely monitored by the government. All marketing content will be monitored, no personal or social media advertising will be allowed. Operators are not allowed to advertise their products as stress reliefs from the COVID-19 pandemic but also no bonuses or rewards can be offered in that relation.
Prior to the announcement of the regulations, the gaming industry noted: “full collaboration with those initiatives” and voiced their support in these difficult times.