Compliance company Rightlander.com will help Spanish authorities to protect vulnerable players by making sure that the country’s gambling companies are complying with ad-hoc advertising measures adopted by the regulator on April 3.
Rightlander to Assist Spanish Authorities Enforce Lockdown Ads Policies
Compliance monitoring company Rightlander has won a bid to back the Spanish government’s efforts in overseeing gambling advertisement during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The company will offer a special fast track reporting system that will alert authorities of any breach of the recently-issued regulations.
On April 3, Spain promulgated Article 37 of Royal Decree 11/2020 which effectively enforces a blanket ban on all forms of gambling advertisement throughout the better part of the day. The only hours during which operators are allowed to advertise gambling product is the time slot between 1 am and 5am.
Lat week, the La Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego said that the decision was necessary due to a big spike in gambling traffic over the weeks of the lockdown. Spain has similarly suspended the state-owned lottery Sociedad Estatal Loterías y Apuestas del Estado (SELAE).
The restriction extends to targeted marketing communications, such as newsletters, emails and social media campaigns. A similar move was urged in the United Kingdom, but the Gambling Commission has not enforced any such measures.
Rather, GamCare has urged operators to avoid advertising aggressively to people during the lockdown so as to avoid seeing an increase in the number of gambling addicts over the period.
Spain Targets Technical Advertisement across the Board
Spain is specifically rooting out popular campaigns such as free bets, discounts, cashbacks, odds boosters, and any forms of financial incentives that may push a person into online gaming and betting.
Rightlander will further help Spanish authorities trim specific keywords from affiliate pages, such as “life changing,” and other buzzworthy phrases that may promise unrealistic and unsubstantiated incentives.
While the service may look a little restrictive at first, Rightlander has figured out a way to incentivize brands to voluntarily sign up and save authorities and regulators time and effort enforcing compliance.
Rightlander will send traffic to any subscriber operators’ non-Spanish domains through a vast network of its own affiliates. Commenting on whether this has been a successful measure, Ian Sims, founder of Rightlander, had this to say:
“Judging from the influx of requests we’ve received this announcement made a sudden and big impact.”
Sims explained why his company was well-positioned to address the specific needs of authorities and market leaders, arguing that Rightlander already had a “substantial database” of Spanish language affiliates sites.
Spain’s Gambling Industry and So Does Regulatory Pressure
Even before the recent lockdown, Spain’s consumer protection minister Alberto Garzon was already targeting gambling advertisement, trying to address concerns about growing incidence of addiction.
Garzon said that the government was trying to reduce around 80% of all gambling-related advertising on television as well as ban celebrities from becoming ambassadors for gambling brands or appearing in their commercials.
In this context, online betting in Spain has tripled between 2014 and 2018, hitting the whopping $19.2 billion.