Spain is jumping the gun on a mulled sports betting advertisement ban that would affect existing gambling sports sponsorships. The government announced on Friday, September 11 cited by local media that it was going to prohibit display of gambling firms’ logos on sports clubs’ online assets beginning in October.
No grace period has been specified, although sports teams expect to be briefed closer to the date. Consumer Affairs minister Alberto Garzón, a known opponent of gambling in the country, said that a “short transition period” would be introduced.
The ban will target the online segment specifically and companies will have to use the grace period to remove any signage and assets owned by gambling firms displaying on sports clubs’ online media and other digital channels, including campaigns and advertisement.
All of these changes are proposed under the Royal Decree which was introduced back in April with the Spanish government submitting an action plan to the European Commission for approval.
Garzón has been aggressively pushing for better consumer protection measures and specifically sponsorships signed between sports clubs in the country and sports betting companies. The rather hostile regulatory climate, though, hasn’t stopped Betway from signing a deal with RC Celta de Vigo, another Spanish soccer club.
Betting Firm Deals in Spain Grow Despite Looming Ban
The company is not the only one to strengthen its ties with the country’s sports betting franchises. Recently, MarathonBet has inked a fresh partnership with Sevilla FC. The betting firm also had a partnership with Real Madrid it signed back in 2019.
William Hill has extends its own deal with Málaga CF and added UD Logroñés to a list of growing partners in the country. Versus, a brand owned by Grupo Orenes, inked a multi-year partnership with Atletico de Madrid and Betsson clinched a partnership with UD Ibiza.
However, La Liga has decided to try and shift its focus when it comes to gambling partnerships, pushing towards the Asian market with a newly-minted deal between the league and M88, a sports betting firm focused on the region.
Once the law is passed, no sports club would be able to sign a new partnership that specifically features the signage of online advertising, Garzón explained. Garzón also protected the government’s decision to favor the state-owned lotteries ONCE and SELAE under the new decree at the expense of private firms.
He claimed, though, that lotteries were a “reserved form of gambling,” and they didn’t lead to the same gambling-related harms. Meanwhile, Spain’s sports betting results have been impressive. The country saw a 12.5% increase in gambling results in Q1, 2020 despite the pandemic.